News Links – 2021

Washington, D.C., Post, December 30, 2021: This tree has stood here for 500 years. Will it be sold for $17,500?

The Sitka spruce soaring more than 180 feet skyward has stood on this spot on Prince of Wales Island for centuries. While fierce winds have contorted the towering trunks of its neighbors, the spruce’s trunk is ramrod straight. Standing apart from the rest of the canopy, it ascends to the height of a 17-story building. This tree’s erect bearing — a 1917 publication called the Sitka species “the autocrat of timbers” — is what helps give it such extraordinary commercial value. Musical instrument makers covet its fine grain, as do builders whose clients want old-growth wood that’s increasingly scarce. In a world whose ancient forests have largely disappeared, this grove holds a sliver of what remains. Even when the top and branches are lopped off, a tree this size would yield at least 6,000 board feet of lumber, said industry consultant Catherine Mater, who assessed the spruce’s potential market value for The Washington Post. It would fetch around $17,500 on the open market. But there’s another value the spruce holds: the carbon dioxide locked inside its fibers, in its roots, in the soil and in the vegetation that clings to it from its branches to its base, where berry bushes proliferate. The miraculous process that sustains life on Earth is embedded within its vast trunk, a reservoir for the greenhouse gases that now threaten humanity. The spruce draws in carbon dioxide through the tiny holes in its leaves, known as stomata, and water through its roots. The sunlight it absorbs fuels a reaction that splits the water and carbon dioxide into glucose, which traps the carbon, and releases oxygen into the atmosphere…

Albany, New York, Times-Union, December 30, 2021: UAlbany tree removal stuns some neighbors

Harriet Temps has lived in the same house for almost 50 years and has enjoyed the look of the University at Albany campus just down the road. One of the most treasured characteristics over those years were the trees, an enjoyable sight during her walks. But on one recent walk, she noticed something strange: Many of the trees had red strips around them, and she was unsure of what it meant. On Temps’ walk a couple of days later it came to her – as the trees with red strips were now stumps. “I was absolutely astounded … it never occurred to me that the university would take down those trees,” said Temps, who was an academic adviser and assistant to the chair of the history department at the school for 13 years. Her family has a longstanding rapport with UAlbany and she said she had a special connection with nature for as long as she can remember. “When I saw them start to cut them, all of those trees one after the other, it was so sad,” Temps said. “These were trees that have been there since the beginning of the campus being put in. They were magnificent, beautiful, old trees.” The tree removal was the first step toward constructing a new bus route being created to shorten commute times…

Stockton, California, Record, December 30, 2021: Checking your trees after a storm: Tips for identifying damage and defects

After the wind and rain we have had, you’ve likely seen or experienced the damage storms can cause and how it can negatively impact your trees’ health while threatening your own safety. When inspecting trees, always make your inspections from the ground. If you suspect a hazardous condition, immediately contact your utility company and consult an arborist who has the equipment and training to conduct the inspection safely. A common mistake that people make is to assume that if a tree didn’t fall during the storm, then it will continue to hold its ground. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and a tree that falls can cause significant damage to your property. If any of your trees are leaning after a storm, then you should have an expert come out and determine if tree removal will be necessary. As you check each tree for damage, you should also keep an eye out for any wires that are in contact with their branches. High winds can loosen utility lines or break branches, allowing trees and wires to come in contact with one another. If you see any wires that are touching your trees, then you should schedule tree trimming for your property and contact your electrical provider…

London, UK, Independent, December 30, 2021: What is the environmental impact of a Christmas tree, and how should you dispose of it?

“Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree, how lovely are thy branches”. So goes the yuletide anthem, and yes, it seems humans everywhere relish the opportunity to bring a big old bit of foliage into their dwellings and cover it with twinkly trinkets to celebrate Christmas. Delightful. But wait! Cutting down trees for a few weeks of pleasure is not very 21st century is it? We are not a pack of feckless Bolsonaros getting jacked on the illicit thrill of felling vital woodlands, are we? So should we be cutting down these trees? What impact does it have on the environment? Should we stop? Or should we keep going? And when we have had enough of Christmas and its indoor trees, how should we rid ourselves of them? The first question in ascertaining whether you should be on the naughty or nice list this year is: what sort of tree have you got? Artificial trees are bad. In fact they are not trees at all, they just seem a bit like them to our rudimentary human senses. A single artificial tree has a total carbon footprint of around 40kg, according to the Carbon Trust. They are usually made in China, and are composed of metal and plastic, which will ultimately go to landfill. This is bad…

Watauga, North Carolina, Democrat, December 30, 2021: Small beetles spell good news for High Country hemlock trees

A small bug has been attacking the High Country’s hallowed hemlock trees, but a familiar hero has recently emerged to turn the tide to keep the sap-sucking pest at bay, according to local entomologists. Research from the Watauga County Agricultural Extension Office and a local entomologist has revealed that a small black beetle — known as the Laricobius nigrinus — is literally eating away at the pest, the hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA) in a large number of locations. In 36 of 43 locations surveyed in the Watauga County area, researchers have found the little black beetles. Their presence is saving hemlock trees from being savaged by HWA, which can and will injure trees. Blake Williams, a sustainable development senior at App State and intern for the Watauga County Agricultural Extension Office, completed the study with extension director Jim Hamilton to see how widespread the Laricobius beetle is throughout the High Country. Landowners started introducing the beetle to properties in the High Country in the early 2000s after noticing the impact of HWA on their trees. The aphid-like bugs suck sap from and kill needles, shoots and branches on hemlocks. HWA gets its name from laying white bundles of eggs on the underside of the needles, giving them a woolly appearance. Preserving the trees isn’t just for conservation’s sake, though. Williams said that hemlocks fulfill an important niche in the environment, growing along waterways and helping regulate water quality and temperature, flooding and even trout populations…

St. Louis, Missouri, Post-Dispatch, December 29, 2021: Time for one final holiday tradition: Recycling the Christmas tree

State and local officials are offering their annual reminder that there’s “one last gift you can give as the Christmas season closes.” That final gift? Your Christmas tree. In St. Louis and beyond, area residents are being asked to recycle their Christmas trees for beneficial reuse, instead of having the conifers clog up dumpsters, ditches or other problematic places where people can discard them. In the city of St. Louis, for instance, trees can be taken to any of three locations — one each in the north, south and central parts of the city — until Jan. 10. In St. Louis County, they can be brought to four county parks through Jan. 16. Madison County has set up 34 locations, and will accept trees for recycling through Jan. 14. The St. Louis region’s recycled Christmas trees have two main destinies: mulch or fish habitat. The conversion to mulch is the most common use of the trees in St. Louis, said Alan Jankowski, the city’s commissioner of forestry. The ground-up trees join reserves of mulch made available for free to city residents. But some recycled trees meet a perhaps more adventurous — and aquatic — afterlife as fish habitat, once officials sink them to the bottom of local lakes. There, “reefs” of the trees can provide a boost to fisheries, particularly as protective nurseries where smaller fish can take refuge. Decisions about tree placement rest with the Missouri Department of Conservation…

Bass Resource, December 29, 2021: What Happens to Christmas Trees Under Water?

This time of year, the phone will ring several times from folks wanting to improve habitat in their ponds by adding cedar trees. Some of those guys also tell me they talk with local Christmas tree lot managers about coming by right after Christmas, trailer behind a pickup truck, to collect unsold trees, haul them to the lake, and put them out as fish attractors. Heck, I’ve had several people over the years boast how they beat the trash trucks and snagged people’s trees off the curb in the neighborhood before the sanitary engineers can scoop them up to be ground into mulch. How well do these trees work as fish attractors? Do they fit into a habitat plan? Many times over the years a crew of us bundled smaller trees and big limbs, tethered them with a concrete block, and dropped them overboard from a boat or barge, into spots we believed needed the extra cover. Many times, after we put out the last pile for the day, we’d fire up the electrofishing boat, go right over the piles we just launched, and presto-chango, fish were already finding it. Small fish, that is. When we add cedar or Christmas trees for habitat, the density of its limbs attracts the smaller fish in that pond. When you think about it, having something for the smallest fish makes great sense. The thick needle mass and small limbs of these trees effectively attract those small ones, giving them a few more days, maybe weeks, perhaps even a few months to not be eaten by their bigger brethren. The longer they live, the bigger they get. Which, by the way, those bigger fish are soon attracted to said trees because they sense the opportunity for a fast lunch…

iNews, December 29, 2021: Climate change: Mechanical trees that suck CO2 out of the atmosphere set for major first trial

Mechanical trees which suck CO2 out of the atmosphere 1,000 times faster than real ones could be as common as cars within two decades, their developer has said. In 1999, Professor Klaus Lackner became the first scientist to say that cutting carbon emissions would not be enough to avert catastrophic climate change and CO2 would also need to be removed from the air. Since then, he has been developing the mechanical tree with the prototype about to launch on the campus of Arizona State University, where he works. The prototype tree is a “concertina” column that is 10 metres tall when fully extended and 1.5 metres wide, with a 2.5-metre wide drum attached to the bottom. The column contains 150 horizontal, circular discs coated with chemicals which catch CO2 when the wind blows through them. If all goes according to plan, the prototype trees will fill up with CO2 every 30 to 60 minutes, when they will concertina down into the drum and the CO2 will be collected and stored or sold for use in industrial applications, including making drinks fizzy, creating fuel and extracting oil…

Portland, Oregon, The Oregonian, December 28, 2021: Falling tree nearly crushes ODOT incident responder driving on I-5

An Oregon Department of Transportation worker outdrove death Monday after his truck barely missed being crushed by a falling tree on Interstate 5. Dramatic dashcam footage shows the ODOT vehicle skating beneath the path of the tumbling timber a second before impact. “That tree just fell out of nowhere, and they were extremely lucky to have sneaked beneath and only got tagged by one of the branches as it fell down,” said Matt Noble, an agency spokesperson. Noble said the incident responder was driving north on I-5 near Wolf Creek Pass in Josephine County around 2 p.m. when the towering evergreen, which was later measured to have a 2.5-foot diameter trunk, slammed to earth, blocking all of the northbound lanes and one southbound lane. No one, including the driver, was hurt, Noble said, even as one falling limb left a spider web of fractured glass on the vehicle’s windshield. “It really just kissed the top of the car,” Noble said. “It was a pretty heavy impact, but luckily (the driver) was OK. [Watch the video]…

East Lansing, Michigan, WKAR-FM, December 29, 2021: DNR recommends pruning oak trees in winter to prevent oak wilt

As temperatures drop, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says now is the best time to prune oak trees to help prevent oak wilt. Oak wilt is a fungal disease that blocks the flow of water and nutrients from the roots of the tree to the top. It can cause leaves to slowly wilt and fall off and eventually kill the tree. Simeon Wright, a forest health specialist with the state DNR, says beetles that are most active in the spring and summer usually spread the disease. “So basically, in Michigan, there’s a high-risk period that research has identified from about April 15 to July 15 when oak trees are most likely to become infected when they’re pruned,” he said. Wright says the risk of infection significantly lowers in the late fall and into the winter. “So it’s a completely safe time to prune oak trees,” he added…

Tupelo, Mississippi, Daily Journal, December 28, 2021: Bradford pears, once a popular street tree, added to Pennsylvania’s list of noxious weeds

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has added the Callery pear, also known as Bradford Pear or its scientific name Pyrus calleryana, to the state’s noxious weed list. Noxious weeds cannot legally be sold or cultivated within the state. Bradford pears have been used as street trees since the 1950s and have increasingly been recognized as an ecological disaster, spreading uncontrollably and disrupting native ecosystems. The ban on sale and cultivation will take effect Feb. 9, 2022 with enforcement phased in over two years. “Callery pear is another non-native plant that was brought to this country for its beauty and rapid growth, without regard for its long-term potential to harm our environment and food supply,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Banning the sale of an invasive plant is an important tool to stop its spread and is a step we take only after careful consideration of the damage it causes and its potential for continued harm to our ecosystem and economy.” Landscaping businesses and nurseries will have two years to remove the trees from their stock and find alternatives. Plant breeders who own the rights to proven sterile varieties may be able to obtain an exemption. Callery pear was brought to the U.S. in the early 1900s by researchers looking for a fire blight-resistant species that could be bred with European pears to increase fruit production, then gained popularity as a street tree. It has garnered attention in recent years as a prolific invader that can easily spread into woodlands, pastures, fields and natural areas…

Show Low, Arizona, White Mountain Independent, December 28, 2021: Pine Bark Beetles

While we had a better monsoon season this year, the drought continues for our area. Drought is one of the stressors that can lead to bark beetle infestations. Bark beetles contribute to the death of thousands  of ponderosa pines in Arizona each year. Most often, when larger trees are attacked and killed they have been weakened by drought, lightning, construction activity or they have been growing on poor sites. Evidence of Infestation: Fading needles (changing from green to a light straw color) is often the first sign of a beetle attack. Depending on the attacking species, the fading can either begin at the crown of the tree working its way down or from the bottom up. This can take a few weeks to one year after the attack and eventually the needles will turn brown or red. Another sign is dust caused by boring in the bark crevices at the tree base. Often, numerous small pitch tubes (globules of pitch ¾ to 1 ¼ “ in diameter) appear on the trunk of infested trees. The tubes generally have a creamy appearance. The presence of one or two pitch tubes may not mean that a beetle was successful. Prevention and Control: Freshly cut ponderosa pine slash and firewood are subject to attack by bark beetles. Trees cut during the late summer and fall are seldom successfully attacked, because the inner bark dries during the fall and winter. The inner bark of trees cut from January-July remains moist and suitable for beetle habitat…

Rochester, New York, Democrat & Chronicle, December 28, 2021: ‘It was as if we were standing in a sawmill.’ One of NY’s tallest trees toppled in storm

New York has lost a giant. A majestic white pine once believed to be the state’s tallest tree crashed to earth in early December in Elder’s Grove near Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondack Mountains. Known as tree 103, and identified by a metal tag near its base, it soared to an estimated height of 160.4 feet and stood among a group of white pines in existence since the mid- to late 1600s — more than 100 years before New York became a state. Generally, white pines can survive 350 to 400 years, so tree 103, one of around 30 remaining in the grove, was approaching the end of its life, said Justin Waskiewicz, a forestry professor at the college. But a series of recent events hastened its demise. In July, the tree next to 103, tree 111, cracked about 20 feet above its base and instead of falling over, it began “leaning hard on 103,” Waskiewicz said. “When I saw 111 leaning on 103, I knew it was going to come down sometime this year,” he said. “It was an unstable situation.” Then, a few weeks ago, a windstorm swept through the area. “That’s all it took…”

Washington, D.C., Examiner, December 27, 2021: Father and two sons killed in fire likely caused by Christmas tree

A Christmas tree appears to have caused a deadly house fire that brought tragedy to one family in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, according to authorities. A father, 41-year-old Eric King, and two of his sons, 11-year-old Liam and 8-year-old Patrick, died in the early Christmas morning blaze, police said. Kristin, and their oldest son, Brady, managed to survive. “This news is devastating for the District community and the Quakertown area at large,” the Quakertown School District Community said in a Facebook post. “Eric, Kristin, and their boys are very active in the community, and the kind of people who make this a special place to live and attend school.” The fire is under investigation, but Scott McElree, chief of police, said lights on the family’s Christmas tree may have caused it. “The area of origin was a Christmas tree, so we’re not sure if it’s because of electric or a dried-up old Christmas tree,” he said, according to CNN…

Centennial, Colorado, Colorado Public Radio, December 27, 2021: Yes, you need to water your trees

It was another snowless morning when Ben Rickenbacker, Denver’s forestry operations manager, examined the cracked soil beneath a blue spruce in Hurston Lake Park. A worker soon arrived with a hose attached to a water truck. For the next few minutes, he provided a small flood meant to help the tree through a historic winter drought along Colorado’s Front Range. “It’s really bad,” Rickenbacker said. “We usually have some sort of snow cover, but we’ve had little to no snow this holiday season.” Other Colorado foresters and local arborists have started to worry about the fate of Metro Denver’s urban trees. Record-dry weather made it even harder for trees to survive in a natural semi-arid prairie. If any die out, the area could lose pieces of a leafy climate buffer that helps suck up carbon, improve local air quality and soften the severity of heatwaves. Those are all benefits Denver is trying to build on, not lose, as global warming heats up. The city has increased its tree-planting pace over the last few years. Its goal is to expand the urban tree canopy, which now shades about 13 percent of the city, to 20 percent, according to its latest parks and recreation plan…

Bismarck, North Dakota, KFYR-TV, December 25, 2021: Bismarck women on the hunt for city’s ‘champion trees’

Trees are an important part of our city. They provide shade on a hot summer day, provide habitat for birds and other wildlife and they can even block the sounds of traffic. In Bismarck, the city plants between 750 and a 1,000 new trees each year. But there are also plenty of old trees, some of them have been deemed worth of recognition. Two women have been working to identify the city’s champion trees. Susan Wefald and Nancy Willis are passionate about trees. “I love trees,” said Willis. They love them so much they’ve spent the past year looking for the city’s biggest trees. Determining which are champion trees wasn’t easy. The city provided them with some special measuring tools. The women measured the tree’s circumference and height as well as the spread of the branches. Looking for big trees became a bit of an obsession for Wefald and Willis. “We were both walking around the city looking at the trees and then we’d think, ‘gosh we better go measure that one,’” recalled Wefald…

London, UK, Independent, December 27, 2021: When should I take down my Christmas tree and decorations?

For those of us who’ve already returned to work, Christmas seems more like a distant memory with each hour that passes. A clean start to the New Year is always a good thing, but confusion about exactly when to take down the Christmas tree and decorations continues to abound. In a bid to avoid any further bad luck, we establish when it’s time to put the tinsel away for another year – and it’s not as straightforward as it might seem. Here’s everything you need to know. In the UK, tradition dictates that Christmas decorations remain up until Twelfth Night. Twelfth Night is a Christian festival marking the beginning of Epiphany. A count of exactly 12 days from 25 December takes us to 5 January. According to the Church of England, this day is Twelfth Night. However, the day of Epiphany falls on the following day – 6 January. Other Christian groups may count the 12 days of Christmas from Boxing Day, however, which makes 6 January Twelfth Night. Countries such as Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic all consider the Twelfth Night to fall on this day, for example…

Chattanooga, Tennessee, Times-Free Press, December 26, 2021: A Christmas tree grows on St. Simons Island’s East Beach

When Ron Binkney and Lucky found a pretty seashell near a lone cedar tree while walking the beaches of St. Simons Island, the spirit of Christmas was still a distant afterthought. But that pretty shell had a hole in it, perfect for hanging from a limb of the 8-foot-tall tree. As Binkney and his golden retriever continued their daily walks along the island’s East Beach, he made it a point to add additional pretty shells that caught his eye. “Lucky and I decided to put on more seashells,” said Binkney, recalling early November when it started. “I would find the shells that had holes in them and add them to the tree.” But Binkney had nothing to do with the starfish that appeared on the tree one day. Likewise, he did not hang the dog bone cutout with a pet’s name on it. And he certainly did not add the jingling bells or the handmade bamboo cross…

Ann Arbor, Michigan WUOM-FM, December 27, 2021: Wintertime is the best time to find a pest that’s killing Michigan’s hemlock trees

Hemlock woolly adelgids suck the sap out of Michigan’s eastern hemlock trees. “And over time, say four to ten years, they can actually kill the trees,” said Joanne Foreman, Invasive Species Communications Coordinator with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The bugs are really small, but you can spot evidence of them and wintertime is a good time to look. Round, white hemlock woolly adelgid ovisacs (resembling cotton balls) are found on the undersides of branches near the base of the needles. The underside of hemlock needles have parallel silvery-white stipes. “Right now, the woolly adelgids are working at sucking sap out of the hemlock trees. And while they’re doing so, they’re spinning these little white cottony threads that turn into small white balls that you can see on the underside of hemlock branches,” Foreman explained…

Bloomington, Illinois, The Pantagraph, December 26, 2021: Christmas delight, but they often struggle in these yards

The scent of pine is one of the hallmarks of this happy time of the year. Perhaps that’s what inspires so many homeowners to plant pine trees in their yards. “Unfortunately, many of them don’t do very well,” said Sharon Yiesla, plant knowledge specialist in the Plant Clinic at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. “It’s wonderful to enjoy them indoors for the holidays, but outdoors, the Chicago region just isn’t hospitable to most species of pines.” Pines, like most evergreens, need very well-drained soil that lets water flow away from their roots — the opposite of the sticky, water-retaining clay found in most of this region. In the Arboretum’s Conifer Collection, many evergreens are planted on sloping sites where water drains away more readily than in a typical flat city or suburban yard. Pine species that are widely planted around homes, such as Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), Austrian pine (Pinus nigra), and Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora), are vulnerable to several nasty diseases and insects. “Plants that are in less than optimal conditions, such as pines in poor soil, are always less able to tolerate pests, diseases and other stresses,” Yiesla said…

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Patriot-News, December 22, 2021: Days are numbered in Pennsylvania for popular but invasive landscaping tree

The Callery pear, a widely popular ornamental tree commonly sold under the names Bradford pear, Cleveland pear and flowering pear, has been added to Pennsylvania’s Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed list. But it will be 2024 before an actual on-the-ground ban is in place. The tree has been listed among the Class B noxious weeds, for which the department might require control to contain an injurious infestation or may provide education or technical consultation. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Class B weeds are considered to be “so prolific they cannot realistically be eradicated. These plants are targeted for control measures.” The department’s Noxious Weeds Program considers Class A noxious weeds as high priority for preventing new infestations and eradicating existing infestations. Pennsylvania also has a Class C noxious weeds list, which is made up of federally declared noxious weeds that are not yet established in the state and are not on either the Class A or Class B lists, and a list of controlled plants, which currently covers hemp…

Whittier, California, Daily News, December 22, 2021: Does Whittier’s tree manual need fixing to ensure safety?

Whittier city officials again will study its tree manual that provides criteria for removal, among other options, in response to concerns after receiving about 30 calls about falling branches and limbs during last week’s storm. Whittier Councilman Henry Bouchot asked for the study at the Dec. 14 council meeting in response to the storm that occurred earlier that day, saying he’s concerned that trees, which aren’t safe, are not being removed.In particular, he blamed the Whittier Conservancy, a nonprofit preservationist group, for opposing necessary removals of trees. “It’s like we’re scared of a confrontation with the Whittier Conservancy,” Bouchot said. “I would like to see ways we can preserve our urban canopy but does that mean waiting until a tree, which has reached past the end of its life cycle, potentially falling upon a person or a person’s home?” he asked. “Sometimes there are lives at stake…”

London, UK, Daily Mail, December 20, 2021: Council orders four healthy 30-year-old apple trees to be chopped down – in case locals trip over fruit that falls from them

Residents are outraged at a council’s ‘ludicrous’ plans to chop down four apple trees because the fruit which falls to the ground is a ‘tripping hazard’. The large trees have sat in the heart of Westwood in Wiltshire for over 30 years and the apples are eaten by locals who also use them to make cider and jam. But four of the five trees have now been earmarked to be cut down after the fallen fruit was deemed a health and safety risk. The trees line a footpath and the local parish council has apparently said people might stumble on the fruit – making them dangerous. Nearly 200 people have signed a petition against the proposals with organisers saying the trees face the chop because the fruit was deemed a tripping risk. Villager David McQueen, 56, who launched the petition in November, has condemned the plans to destroy the four mature apple trees labelling it ‘eco vandalism’. Mr McQueen said: ‘They are fantastic trees and so far over 150 people have signed my petition to save them, which is amazing considering the size of the village. ‘This is the last chance to save these beautiful trees that are a resource for the children and residents of the village, for birds and insects and which provide habitat for wildlife…

Asbury Park, New Jersey, Press, December 22, 2021: Island Beach State Park seeks Christmas trees for dune project

Island Beach State Park officials will collect freshly discarded Christmas trees at the Swimming Area #2 in January. The trees help catch sand and support the island’s dunes, which provide habitat for about 400 plant species and numerous types of birds. Dunes also help to protect the island from storms. Donated trees must have ornaments and lights removed before the drop off. Flocked trees will not be accepted. In 2020, Island Beach State Park officials advertised for Christmas tree donations, hoping to receive about 200. Instead, park officials received about 2,000 donated trees. This year, people willing to donate their trees must register online in advance. Volunteers to drive beach buggies and plant the trees in the dunes must also register in advance…

Washington, DC, Post, December 21, 2021: The journey from seed to harvested Christmas tree is a long, winding road

Placed among a neat row of fresh-cut evergreen trees, an eight-foot Fraser fir with a thick coat of needles stands like a handsome sentinel in a crowd of green. The tree, selling for $145 at the Bru-Mar Gardens nursery in Annapolis, Md., is a real beauty: It resembles a cone, with long, sturdy branches at the base that gently taper higher along the trunk. The needles are thick enough to hide behind. At its top, a single lean branch is a throne suitable for an angel or a glowing star. If all goes to plan, a family will take the tree home and adorn it with lights, ornaments and tinsel. It will, at last, fulfill its destiny as a Christmas tree. Evergreens like this one are not — to borrow a phrase from Lady Gaga — born this way. Christmas trees owe their existence, survival and specific shape to years of painstaking care and attention. “A lot of people don’t realize the story behind what’s at the centerpiece of their family holiday Christmas,” said Beth Ann Bossio, a tree farmer at the Quarter Pine Tree Farm in Smithfield, Pa. “It’s a lot of love and patience from these farmers and a lot of years.” Evergreens have played a role in winter celebrations for thousands of years. Long before Christians began setting up trees in their homes to mark the birth of Jesus Christ, people around the world marked the return of winter by decorating their private and public spaces with greenery. Ancient Egyptians adorned their homes with green date palm leaves; Romans observed Saturnalia by surrounding themselves with evergreen boughs; and the pre-Christian Druids hung mistletoe. Records show Germans bringing evergreen trees into their homes at Christmastime in the 16th century, a tradition Americans began embracing with gusto in the 1800s…

US News, December 21, 2021: Louisiana Park Lost 80% of Trees, Could Reopen in Spring

A southwest Louisiana park closed since August 2020 by Hurricane Laura could open next spring but will have far fewer trees, Louisiana State Parks Director Brandon Burris said. Four-fifths of the trees at Sam Houston Jones State Park either toppled or were damaged beyond recovery, Burris told The American Press. Burris said crews have cleared 80% of the 1,087-acre (440-hectare) park in Moss Bluff. Other continuing work includes rebuilding cabins, water and sewer treatment systems, bathrooms, the park’s entrance station, the pavilion and other facilities. Depending on weather, the park could reopen by late March or early April, he said. “We’re at a good pace now,” he said. Burris said the state is paying to clear the downed and damaged trees while negotiating for reimbursement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Insurance covered repairs to buildings and other structures, he said…

<img class=”aligncenter wp-image-1521″ Phoenix, Arizona, KAET-TV, December 21, 2021: Joshua trees are first plant to get California protections because of climate change

More than a decade ago, Brendan Cummings was living in this desert town and working to gain federal protections for Arctic polar bears, which can’t survive without the sea ice that’s disappearing because of climate change. A world away from the icy tundra, in a sunny spot named for the iconic yucca plants that grow all around, the environmental lawyer realized that polar bears weren’t the only earthly wonders in danger of extinction. “While I was focusing on a climate-threatened iconic species in the Arctic where the threat of climate change was so clear – temperature warms, ice melts, habitats lost – literally right out my front door, right out my window was another climate-change threatened species that’s fate was less obvious,” said Cummings, who also is the conservation director of the Center for Biological Diversity, based in Tucson. “That which we think is common and abundant — and therefore we assume secure, safe from the threats of climate change and other threats — is actually a lot more vulnerable than it appears.” From the national park that bears its name to Instagram feeds to U2’s classic album from 1987, the Joshua tree is an iconic symbol of the Southwest. But with experts predicting that up to 90% of them could disappear by century’s end, they may become another symbol of our failure to act on climate change…

Albany, Georgia, Herald, December 21, 2021: Avoid transplant shock by planting trees, shrubs in cooler months

Georgia gardeners will find the most success transplanting trees in the cooler seasons. But anywhere a tree or shrub dies within the first year of planting, there is usually a root issue involved. Spring-planted trees and shrubs are generally more stressed from summer heat because their roots are still underdeveloped during the first year. This results in excessive wilting, which causes well-intentioned gardeners to literally water their plants to death. Fall- and winter-planted trees and shrubs can more quickly become established in their new environment while they are dormant, giving them far more resilience during their first summer. Even with proper timing and planting technique, woody plants may still take a few years to fully establish and recover from transplant stresses. Spring plantings also are more likely to suffer from chronic transplant shock. Under stressful conditions, plants are unable to recover, continue to decline and eventually die. The most common reasons for transplant shock and root stress are planting too deep, poor drainage, backfilling with composted soil amendments, damaging the stem/root ball connection during planting or excessive watering. It is possible that a combination of these issues may be involved, especially with the amount and frequency of rain we’ve had the past few years in the northern part of the state. Burris said the state is paying to clear the downed and damaged trees while negotiating for reimbursement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Insurance covered repairs to buildings and other structures, he said…

Toronto, Ontario, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, December 21, 2021: City investigating after oak tree allegedly cut down illegally at Scarborough home

Toronto officials are investigating after a resident in southwest Scarborough allegedly cut down an oak tree in order to build a pool, even after the city rejected a permit to do so. Gary Crawford, city councillor for the area said the home on the Blantyre Avenue property was torn down about two years ago, and two houses were built in its place. At the time, six trees were permitted to be removed through provincial legislation and the owners agreed to put in around 13 to 15 trees to replace them. But about a year after that, another permit application came in to remove one more tree in the backyard to build a pool, he said. “My office did intervene and that permit was rejected by urban forestry,” said Crawford. The councillor says the tree appears to have been removed anyway. The Birchcliffe-Cliffside neighbourhood is known for its high tree canopy, including oak trees which take decades to mature. The minimum fine for the illegal removal of a tree is $500 dollars under municipal code, up to a maximum of $100,000…

The New Republic, December 20, 2021: The Strange Quest to Save North America’s Most Elusive Oak Tree

There was perhaps no one better than Cornelius H. Muller—one of twentieth-century America’s most notable oak fanatics—to document the continent’s most mysterious oak trees. In July 1932, the horseback-riding botanist first encountered Quercus tardifolia while collecting samples in the steep-cut canyons of Texas’s Big Bend National Park. Muller jotted down details of the twigs (slender, somewhat fluted), buds (hairy at the tip), leaves (dull blue-green), and branches (short, stiff). He anointed it with a Latin name that referenced the tree’s late-season leaf development. This process of scientific description is a kind of sacrament, a communion between scientist and species: Muller saw Q. tardifolia, and so it was. Then, as suddenly as it blinked into taxonomic existence, the species vanished from sight. In Muller’s wake, a succession of ecologists have scoured Big Bend for more of the species, trying to prove that it exists. None have succeeded. Ecologists only ever found one possible Q. tardifolia tree—which may or may not have been Muller’s original specimen; it died around 2011, before it could be genetically analyzed or botanically cultivated for conservation. Today, Q. tardifolia has grown about as lonely as a species can get, with an estimated population in the double digits and a known range of one location…

Albany, Georgia, Herald, December 20, 2021: Give your Christmas tree life after the holidays

If you celebrate Christmas, there is nothing like having a real tree to decorate in your home for the holidays. The festive aroma alone provides such a sense of nostalgia. However, once the holidays have quickly come and gone, the next order of business is disposing of your tree. For most people, the first thing that may come to mind is to add it to their weekly trash pickup to go to the landfill. In theory, while this seems like a good idea, it is environmentally destructive. When your tree is sent to the landfill, it is packed so tightly it cannot decompose properly. In turn, this causes the tree to release methane gas that is harmful to the environment. So what other options are out there? To give your tree life beyond the holidays, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension has compiled some ways to recycle and repurpose your tree to give back to Mother Nature. Check out your local options: Contact your city, county, local waste management company, nearby garden center, local conservation organization or local nonprofit organizations to find out if they offer tree recycling. Many times, they will either pick up your tree or provide you with information on a drop-off site…

Tallahassee, Florida, Democrat, December 20, 2021: Prolific pinecones propagate the trees and keep the squirrels fed | Harrison

A walk around the neighborhood or forest will confirm winter is here. Of course, there are the recent thermometer readings and the shorter days. Other signs Leon County are the thicker coats on animals which, by choice or situation, must remain exposed to the elements. Some, like the native reptiles and amphibians, are absent from sight, having retreated to a safe location to “sleep” the winter away. There are also the plants and trees which have completed their annual cycle of renewal, growth, reproduction and the return to a dormant state. In the current state of stillness, the seeds developed during the warmer days have hardened and are ready for distribution. One of the easiest identified examples of the process for continuing the species are pinecones. In Leon County the ever-present woody structures, botanically known as strobilus, are currently open and releasing seeds at the end of a single wing which flutters to earth, if it survives the trials of life in the open…

Washington, D.C., Post, December 18, 2021: Which Christmas trees are better for the environment — live or artificial?

A fresh, woody and, sometimes, spicy smell. Crunchy leaves that are so thin they’re called needles. Decorated with festive ornaments and colorful lights — or just white lights — depending on your family’s style. A Christmas tree is a December tradition for a lot of families. More and more, though, that classic Christmas-tree smell isn’t there, and the leaves are not so much crunchy as they are plastic. Of the families that celebrate with a Christmas tree, most chose the artificial kind, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. Artificial trees are reusable, which makes them convenient and seem environmentally friendly. But, a live, cut tree is actually the more responsible choice when it comes to the environment. “People have the misconception that real trees are bad because you’re cutting down a tree, [but] the opposite is true,” says Bill Ulfelder, the executive director of the Nature Conservancy’s New York office. Trees are a renewable resource. Cutting them down and planting more, as Christmas tree farms tend to do, makes for a well-managed forest that helps the environment…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, December 19, 2021: As plants go dormant for winter, it’s an ideal time to prune trees and shrubs

Leafless trees and shrubs seem almost dead in the winter, but they’re not. Bright daffodils and tulips of springtime and colorful summer perennials may feel like faded memories, yet they’re all still here. They’re just dormant. “Dormant plants are alive,” said Sharon Yiesla, plant knowledge specialist at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. “They’re just inactive.” Dormancy is a tactical retreat that gets plants through times when conditions are difficult and resources are short. In the Midwest, many plants become dormant to take refuge from winter. “The weather is cold and windy, and it’s also a time of drought,” she said. Liquid water is essential to most of a plant’s life processes, but when temperatures fall below freezing and water turns to ice, plants are left high and dry. “Dormancy helps plants do without water until snow melts and spring rains come,” Yiesla said…

USA Today, December 18, 2021: ‘Griswold’ family’s Christmas tree search ends in dramatic rescue

A Washington family was ridiculed after driving into the forest in severe weather to look for a Christmas tree, prompting a dangerous search-and-rescue effort. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police on Friday titled its news release, “Griswold Family Rescue.” The reference to “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” a 1989 comedy film starring Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, might be understandable to some. The unidentified family ventured into the Blue Mountains despite a weather forecast calling for up to 18 inches of snow. A prominent road closure sign was ignored. The family did not pack suitable clothing or tire chains. The Asotin County Sheriff’s Office received the emergency call Saturday evening and requested assistance from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The WDWF’s “Sergeant Mosman” led a rescue operation that involved volunteers and the use of snowmobiles…

Portsmouth, Maine, Herald, December 18, 2021: ‘A Christmas miracle’: Helpers save Maine family Christmas tree business from COVID Grinch

Something seemed off to John Kreie when he arrived at Wells Christmas Barn on Laudholm Farm Road to pick up an order of wreaths he had placed. To begin with, Todd Pickering and Paige Williams were nowhere to be seen on their property, which was odd, given the premium the couple places on providing customers with a warm welcome and a festive holiday atmosphere. And then there was the box that sat on a table among the Christmas trees for sale. Kreie discovered the box had been placed there on the “honor system,” the hope that whoever took a tree from the property would leave the right amount of money for it. Eventually, Kreie learned the situation at the small family business: both Pickering and Williams had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and were inside their home, feeling ill and quarantining for 10 days. Well, thought Kreie, who lives about 3 miles away on Grand Trail Drive, we’ve got some good people in our neighborhood who could lend a hand. Kreie got in touch with one of them, Lisa Blaisdell, and she organized a group of more than a dozen volunteers. On the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 4 and 5, these helpers reported to Wells Christmas Barn and worked in shifts to keep alive its mission: to “bring joy and happiness to everyone who comes here,” as Pickering recalled in an interview…

Techxplore, December 16, 2021: Tree trimming pays dividends for energy customers

Eversource Energy’s tree trimming program led to 900 fewer tree-caused power outages per year, according to research done by UConn energy analysts and published this month in the journal Energy Policy. For tree-caused power outages that did occur, the duration was reduced by 54%, meaning 18,000 fewer customers experienced tree-caused power outages every year the study looked at. Power outages are a common occurrence for those living in Connecticut. An almost entirely above-ground electricity distribution network paired with a highly forested landscape provides ideal conditions for frequent power outages. Utility companies trim the trees around power lines to try to reduce the number of power outages. But tree trimming is both costly and labor intensive, as well as contentious in many towns where historic trees can clash with modern power lines. The study addressed whether trimming trees actually reduces outages, and whether there might be other equally cost-effective measures. “Trimming trees to prevent power outages might seem obvious at first, but this analysis helps us determine where tree trimming will provide the most benefit to the electricity grid and where it won’t,” says lead author Adam Gallaher, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography and Team TERRA NSF-NRT Fellow. The findings from the study were presented to Eversource Energy and at the annual Eversource Energy Center Meeting held on November 19…

Chicago, Illinois, Block Club Chicago, December 16, 2021: 29 Mature Trees Could Come Down In West Lakeview As Water Mains Are Replaced, Despite Neighbor Opposition

Twenty-nine trees could be removed in West Lakeview so the city can replace century-old water mains, but neighbors called on the city’s water department to explore all other alternatives before removing any trees. The trees are mostly along Paulina Street between Belmont and Lincoln avenues, with 19 trees along the route flagged for possible removal, said Anthony Falada, general superintendent of construction for the Department of Water Management. Ten additional trees could be removed along the side streets, including School and Melrose streets from Ravenswood to Lincoln and Ravenswood from Melrose to Belmont. The parkways along those streets are situated above pipes that were installed in 1889 and need to be replaced to prevent breaks or leaks, said Bulent Agar, deputy commissioner of the Department of Water Management. The trees would need to be removed if their roots are too close to the excavation work, but they will be replaced with trees measuring 4.5 inches in diameter, Falada said. “One of the big things we have an issue with is we have to carve a safe excavating path to lay the water main,” Falada said. “In order for the tree to survive, we have to not impact those roots at all. Unfortunately for Paulina and the side streets, the [roots] will be affected … on a case-by-case basis…”

Modern Farmer, December 16, 2021: The Great Recession Is Still Hurting the Christmas Tree Industry

To be clear, we are not experiencing a Christmas tree shortage. No one said anything about that. Some growers called it a “tight supply.” One person I spoke with said there was an “under supply.” But the important thing, they all stressed, is that there’s no shortage of trees. This is all well and good, until you’re driving to three different lots trying to track down a tree. And clearly, some folks have been having a tough time getting their hands on just the right tree. There are lots of reasons for the tighter supply this year. Supply chain disruptions have impacted trucking and transport availability. And in general, those costs have also risen for producers. There are also extreme weather events to deal with and a general loss of acreage for Christmas trees across the country. But one of the main reasons you might not find that perfect fir dates back to 2008 and the financial crisis. Along with other industries, farmers were hit hard by the Great Recession. And growers of Christmas trees were under extra pressure, forced to forecast more than a decade out, rather than a single season. While producers of cereals or grains might be able to change up crops from year to year based on predictions and costs, tree-growers are locked in for the long haul. “Most of our farms run on a ten-year rotation,” says Marsha Gray, executive director of the Christmas Tree Promotion Board. “And a lot of things can happen along the way…”

Charleston, South Carolina, Post & Courier, December 16, 2021: Commentary: SC trees won’t replace themselves. We must replant the next generation.

Public appreciation for green spaces has grown greatly in recent years, and that’s fortunate. As the coastal plain of South Carolina develops rapidly, there’s a special need to pay attention to our quickly disappearing tree canopies. Along the Waccamaw Neck and into the Murrells Inlet Watershed, policymakers are under increasing pressure to give serious consideration to the value of trees. There has been some progress. But almost all of the policies enacted so far are woefully inadequate and have given far too much priority to development interests. Generally speaking, the policies of Georgetown County and too many other communities put an emphasis on protecting the trees we have with no consideration given to replanting the next generation of trees. This is a flawed approach. The trees we have suffer attrition yearly as they grow old or are damaged by wind storms, parasites and pests. Some die a slow death from root damage inflicted by nearby development. New driveways and roads prevent their roots from drinking in rainfall…

London, UK, Daily Mail, December 16, 2021: ‘Arrogant’ homeowner, 71, is ordered to pay £80,000 after poisoning 65ft protected pine tree overlooking his £900,000 Dorset home and sending it crashing down on neighbour’s garage

An ‘arrogant’ homeowner who killed a protected tree that stood in the way of a lucrative property deal has been ordered to pay £80,000 in fines and costs. Robert Page, 71, formed an ‘irrational dislike’ of the 65ft Monterey pine after it scuppered his bid to sell his home near Poole Harbour to a property developer. The retired chartered accountant stood to make £100,000 from the deal but planning permission was repeatedly refused, with the public amenity value of the evergreen cited as a reason. The 65-year-old specimen, that was made subject to a Tree Preservation Order in 1989, also cast a large shadow over Page’s £900,000 home in Dorset. In 2016 he arranged to have drill holes made in the trunk of the tree and a deadly herbicide poured inside, before claiming a vigilante had come onto his property and killed it. Concrete was also poured around the roots to ‘choke’ it of oxygen. Upon inspection two years later, tree officers at the local council discovered the once-luscious pine had been sabotaged after it withered and died. After spotting the officials on his property in the upmarket district of Lilliput, Poole, Page was overheard saying to his wife: ‘Don’t tell them anything.’ Following a four-day trial, he has now been found guilty of breaching a TPO order with intent to destroy the tree…

Denver, Colorado, KUSA-TV, December 15, 2021: Colorado windstorm highlights need for more arborists, tree service workers

When a wind event happens in Colorado, arborists and tree service companies like Denver Tree and  Landscape know to be prepared. “It just kinda doesn’t happen, and then it does. And then probably in the next two, three hours as people were getting off of work, and show up with trees in their driveways and around their houses, the phone’s really going to start ringing here,” said Joshua Davis, the co-owner and president of the tree service and landscaping company. On Wednesday, the Denver metro took some of the damage that came with heavy wind gusts, including several spots with downed, and in some cases uprooted, trees. Even though it’s technically the company’s slow season, the storm spiked demand for some companies like Davis’. “What we’re doing now is I’m pulling my landscaping crew off their jobs for tomorrow,” Davis said. “Today and the rest of the evening is just making sure that there’s no dangers, there’s not hanging branches that’s gonna hurt somebody, any trees on houses, driveways that are blocked that people can’t get out if there’s a medical emergency. So that’s our focus today.” He said there’s a need for more workers in the industry. “Generally right now, it’s been like this for a few years, it’s just finding people willing to work that want to do it,” he said. “I have constant ads out, always asking people that work for us, ‘Hey, if you know anybody that wants to come on board…'”

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src=”https://treeandneighborlawblog.files.wordpress.com/2021/12/kenworth211216.jpg&#8221; alt=”” width=”509″ height=”389″ />Fleet Management, December 14, 2021: What It Takes to Transport the Capitol Christmas Tree

Special delivery: an 84-foot-tall white fir harvested straight from the Six Rivers National Forest in California. The tree, which was selected as the 2021 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, went on a 3,300-mile journey from its home in California to Washington, D.C. Cheney, Washington-based flatbed carrier System Transport was the fleet for the job. With a specially wrapped Kenworth T680 Next Generation tractor, System Transport hauled the tree on a cross-country tour, stopping in 17 communities along the way from Oct. 29 to Nov. 16. The trek culminated with the official tree lighting on the West Lawn in early December. One of the stops was at the Kenworth manufacturing plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, where the Next Gen was assembled, with a special event for plant employees. Spireon’s FleetLocate trailer management technology tracked the journey in real time. Transporting the tree with the 105-foot-long tractor-trailer presented unique challenges. It started with a lot of coordination in arranging vehicle escorts throughout the trip, primarily from U.S. Forest Service law enforcement but occasionally from local law enforcement. “As needed, the escorts would block traffic to allow room and time to maneuver the over-dimensional load through intersections and around corners,” says Chad Reiling, marketing manager for Trans-System…

The Conversation, December 14, 2021: Trees get sunburnt too – but there are easy ways to protect them, from tree ‘sunscreen’ to hydration

We all know how hot and damaging the summer sun can be in Australia and most of us are only too willing to take sensible precautions, and slop on sunscreen. It’s not only humans that suffer from sunburn and its consequences. Some pets, such as cats and dogs, can get sunburnt in some of their less furry places, and pig farmers have long known the damage sun can do to their prized stock. But have you ever wondered about sun damage to plants? Can trees be sunburnt? It may surprise you to know the answer is actually yes! Tree sunburn tends to occur during hot spring days or in early summer, when trees are full of moisture. So let’s explore why it happens, and the easy ways you can protect your trees from damage. Many of you may be thinking of sun scorch, which occurs on the leaves of some of our favourite garden plants on a hot summer’s day: the brown, wilted hydrangea leaves or the large blotchy brown patches that appear on camellia leaves that weren’t there at the beginning of the day. This is sun damage, but is not the same as sunburn on trees. Leaf scorch can occur because leaves are exposed to high levels of solar radiation. The damage is often exacerbated by a low level of soil moisture, which reduces the cooling effect of transpiration (when water evaporates from leaves)…

Popular Science, December 14, 2021: A million ‘super trees’ are coming to clean Houston’s air in the next decade

If you swipe your hand across a tree leaf near the Port of Houston, your fingers will come away covered in white dust. That’s the residue of cement from the concrete plants that are making nearby neighborhoods experience some of the worst air pollution in the Houston area. Houston’s health department has teamed up with local non-profit Houston Wilderness to create an adaptable blueprint with one simple task: planting trees. Although planting trees is not a policy or system-wide solution that will end these polluting industrial operations, the new trees will help improve air quality and reduce flood risks. By scoring different tree species on their capacities to improve the climate, and mapping out the most at-risk community areas, this data can be used to plant trees best suited to solve the environmental problem that is exacerbating health inequities, such as increased risk of asthma and cardiac arrest. The health department and the non-profit say they hope other cities will use this tree-planting project as a way to address similar problems across the country or the world. For Loren Hopkins, chief environmental science officer for the Houston Health Department and a co-author of the study published in Plants, People, Planet, this approach is a call to action to make people reckon with the interconnectedness of these issues. “Maybe they’re health people or insurance companies or other industrial partners who understand that tree planting is a method to combat climate change,” Hopkins says, “but they leave it to the environmental groups.” The first step in the process was to identify which native tree species would be planted. Houston is home to trees that are hardy and grow well, as well as a large list of native tree species…

Greenville, North Carolina, WITN-TV, December 14, 2021: Fire marshal gives Christmas tree safety tips

Christmas is right around the corner and many people are putting up Christmas trees at home. Because trees can catch fire and burn quickly, safety is of the utmost importance. Tony Smart, Winterville fire marshal, says it is important for people to make sure that if they have a real tree in their home, it should have a stand. That way, water can be put in it to keep the tree hydrated. People should also check the water level every day and add more as it is needed. Smart also tells us it is important to make sure the tree is at least 3 feet from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, and lights. “We stress to everyone when it comes to Christmas trees — make sure they are watered. Make sure to use only approved lighting and keep all flames away at least 3 feet…”

Phys.org, December 14, 2021: Citrus greening disease can infect an entire tree weeks before symptoms appear

For the first time ever, scientists have been able to measure the speed of a bacterium that causes the incurable citrus greening disease. Citrus greening disease (also known as Huanglongbing) is the most devastating citrus disease in the world. Afflicted trees grow yellow leaves and low-quality fruit and eventually stop producing altogether, resulting in enormous economic losses to farmers. Small insects carry the causal bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), and inject it when they feed on a tree’s sap. CLas also relies on this sap to grow and spread throughout the tree. Using a new statistical modeling analysis and measurement approach, plant pathologists were able to follow CLas on its journey through a tree. “We found that CLas can move at average speed of 2.9 to 3.8 cm per day. At these speeds a tree that is 3 meters in height will be fully colonized by CLas in around 80 to 100 days, and this is faster than the symptoms appear, which generally takes at least 4 months,” explained Silvio A. Lopes, a plant pathologist based at São Paulo State University in Brazil…

Chicago, Illinois, WGN-TV, December 14, 2021: West Lakeview residents fight to save trees

The replacement of old underground water mains in West Lakeview is set to begin early next year. And while residents acknowledge the upgrades are needed, some worry it could come at a price. In other neighborhoods, where the same pipe replacement work was done, the city needed to cut down fully grown trees, leaving once leafy blocks bare. West Lakeview residents are concerned that could happen to their streets, too. There is a group actively campaigning to save trees on a roughly four-block stretch of North Paulina Street. “At the end of the day, we understand the pipe has to be replaced,” resident Caroline Teichner said. “But we want to be part of that dialogue, because this will really impact the neighborhood.” Teichner is part of a resident group that’s working to raise awareness online and by passing out fliers and posting signs on trees. The group estimates more than 20 mature trees could be in jeopardy. Ald. Matt Martin (47th) says he understands residents’ concerns. “Our area [takes] tree canopy incredibly seriously,” he said. “So, the prospect of losing one tree is one thing. The fact that we may lose dozens is hugely significant…”

Bridgeport, Connecticut, Connecticut Post, December 11., 2021: Westport looks to help preserve trees after concerns from residents

Over the last year, residents have told town officials about trees being chopped down and ruining the character of their property and neighborhood. One emailed the town in frustration after several trees on Bayberry Lane were cut down. The resident said that while the trees were not only cut down without a permit, it has left a bit of an eyesore on the rest of the neighborhood as the rubble has been sitting on the property for close to a year. Another resident told a planning and zoning subcommittee that a developer bought the property next to him and cut down the majority of the trees. He said the situation drastically transformed the back half of his 50-year property. “We decided the time has come to try and do something about it,” said Planning and Zoning Chairwoman Danielle Dobin. “I’ve conducted a little bit of research and asked the staff to do the same to see if we could find any ordinances that thoughtfully preserved tress while still allowing for private property owners to have utilization of their property.” The group found a number of towns have drastically different ordinances for preserving trees…

Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources, December 13, 2021: Time to check trees for hemlock woolly adelgids

Hemlock woolly adelgids, tiny invasive insects that suck nutrients from hemlock trees, are known to be present in Allegan, Ottawa, Muskegon, Oceana and Mason counties. State agency staff, university researchers and regional cooperative invasive species management areas have been working to identify and contain infestations that span across public and private lands. This winter, the Michigan departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development encourage those who have eastern hemlock trees on their property, whether in known infested counties or elsewhere, to take time to inspect the trees for signs of hemlock woolly adelgid. If untreated, hemlock woolly adelgids can kill hemlock trees in four to 10 years. Trees can be protected with proper insecticide treatments. Winter is the optimum time to look for evidence of an infestation, according to Robert Miller, MDARD’s invasive species prevention and response specialist. “Cooler temperatures trigger feeding activity,” Miller said. “As hemlock woolly adelgids feed, they secrete a white, waxy material that creates ovisacs. The presence of these small, round, white masses makes it possible to identify infested trees…”

Greensboro, North Carolina, News & Record, December 12, 2021: How Charlotte’s namesake brought Christmas trees to the English-speaking world

This is the season when countless Charlotte homes display decked-out evergreens, a centuries-old holiday tradition. But even in the Queen City, few remember how the tree became synonymous with Christmas — or how Charlotte’s namesake spread its popularity to the English-speaking world. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz married Britain’s King George III in 1761 and quickly became a popular figure throughout the kingdom. Within a few years of her ascension, English settlers named Mecklenburg County after their queen’s birthplace, then adopted her first name for the growing township at its center. “Charlotte was a speck of dust, this was the edge of the British world,” Charlotte Museum of History development director Lauren Wallace said. While there’s no evidence that overseas settlers kept up with the details of palace life, they were eager to see a spirit of adventure and trepidation in their new rulers. At that time, “the people here are very proud of being British,” Wallace said. “When Charlotte and George come to power people are excited because they see it as a moment for change, innovation… they’re young, they have a lot of energy…”

Melbourne, Florida, Florida Today, December 13, 2021: Those mushrooms in your yard could be killing your trees and shrubs

Many residents who grow palms are familiar with the signs of Ganoderma butt rot, Ganoderma zonatum, which is confirmed when a conk is found at the base of infected palms and palm-like plants. On the other hand, the fungus that can kill most woody trees and shrubs is Armillaria root rot, and it isn’t as well known. Armillaria fruiting bodies, or mushrooms, are typically only produced when there are moist conditions and cooler temperatures. For our area, that is generally fall, winter and occasionally in the spring. If you have a yard full of trees and shrubs, be on the lookout for Armillaria mushrooms. Armillaria root rot also goes by the common names mushroom root rot, shoestring root rot, and honey mushroom rot. This disease decays the root system of many woody trees and shrubs. This genus of fungi can be found world-wide, from the warmer tropics to the colder temperate regions of the north. Armillaria has a large list of hosts that it can infect, including many hardwoods and conifers…

Tallahassee, Florida, Democrat, December 10, 2021: Unwelcome citrus greening disease now confirmed in Leon County tree

In late 2016, as many of us were enjoying the harvests from our backyard citrus, I wrote an article about being on the lookout for citrus greening. At the time, citrus greening, a bacterial plant disease that can affect all citrus, was widespread in central and south Florida but had not made it this far north. That year, the vector, the insect that spreads the disease from tree to tree, had been found in Leon County and a few other surrounding Panhandle counties, but the disease had not. By mid-2017, the disease had been confirmed in Franklin County and we hoped that our cooler temperatures could keep the insect and disease at bay. Well, I regret to inform you that the disease has also now been confirmed in Leon County, growing in a residential yard in Tallahassee. Now that it is confirmed in non-coastal (and cooler) north Florida locations, I thought a review of the signs and symptoms – as well as what to do with your tree if you suspect or confirm greening – would be helpful…

Springfield, Missouri, News-Leader, December 13, 2021: Better Business Bureau advises consumers to avoid doing business with Springfield-based C&J Tree Service

Glenda Griest said her bad experience with C&J Tree Service — a Springfield-based company subject to a new consumer warning from the Better Business Bureau — happened the same day as that big sonic boom that rocked southwest Missouri in late September. Griest said C&J Tree Service workers were going door-to-door soliciting customers, claiming they were short on work at the time but could easily remove nine 60-foot trees from the home property owned by Griest and her husband, Dale. “We live in a development with a ton of trees,” the Nixa resident said of her neighborhood, Deer Ridge. She said Dale worked out an agreement with C&J to pay $4,000 for the removal of the nine trees: Not just cutting them down, but removing the stumps and disposing of all the limbs and trunks into firewood. Griest said her husband gave C&J $3,700 in cash on the spot for the work they agreed upon…

Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, December 13, 2021: Native Plant: Towering sycamore tree known for toughness and adaptability

A scan of stream and river banks in this part of the country frequently reveals tall, broad trees towering over the landscape. Their upper trunks bear a creamy white bark that transitions to an interesting mottled appearance farther down the tree. What you observe is one of the larger deciduous trees in the eastern U.S.— the American sycamore. Also known as planetree or buttonwood, Platanus occidentalis is a fast-growing giant that can ultimately reach 100 feet or more in height and up to 10 feet in diameter at the base. In Central Ohio, sycamores and their variants are sometimes planted as street trees due to their toughness and adaptability. But given their growth rate and mature size, they can overwhelm planting strips or sites that are too narrow. They are better suited to parks and large yards where they can grow large and offer plenty of shade. In their natural settings, sycamores provide habitat for bird species as diverse as chickadees, barred owls and wood ducks. Cavity nesting wildlife seek out the trunk hollows that develop with age…

Arlington Heights, Illinois, Daily Herald, December 9, 2021: Watering trees, shrubs in the fall and winter is a balancing act

After this year’s summer drought in Illinois, it is more important than ever to monitor soil moisture conditions and water trees and shrubs going into winter. Drought conditions in the late fall, along with dry air and low soil moisture, can lead to plant damage if no supplemental water is provided. “If soil is dry, homeowners should consider watering their trees and shrubs this fall and winter,” says Gemini Bhalsod, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. Plants under water stress are more susceptible to insects and diseases. They can also experience injuries to roots or foliage. Before watering, check the soil moisture. Monitor the moisture levels about once a week. Dig a small hole under the tree’s drip line, 4 to 6 inches is enough. Feel for moisture. If the soil is dry, the tree should be watered. “This little bit of consistent effort will pay off in the long run,” Bhalsod says. In particular, newly fall-planted trees, shrubs, and perennials should be monitored and watered late into the season, since they do not have as much time to develop extensive root systems as anything planted in the spring. Pay attention to evergreens and shallow-rooted trees such as birches and maples. Some shallow-rooted trees can be identified by roots breaking the surface of the soil. Evergreens do not go dormant in the winter and are still actively respiring and lose water through their needles…

Visalia, California, Times-Delta, December 9, 2021: Sequoia National Park reopens with limited big tree access as KNP Complex Fire still smolders

Access to the big trees and Sequoia National Park’s world-famous Giant Forest will reopen to the public on a limited schedule beginning this weekend. The beloved sequoia grove, which includes the Earth’s largest tree, General Sherman, will reopen beginning Saturday. The grove will be open four days a week to start, from Thursday through Sunday. The park will be open for a seven-day period between Christmas and New Year’s, weather and conditions permitting, park officials announced. General Sherman and sequoia groves have been closed to the public since September due to the KNP Complex Fire, which burned more than 88,000 acres across Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. The fire remains 80% contained but is now burning only in remote areas of the park that pose no threat to the public, park officials said. Thousands of sequoia trees are dead or dying as a result of the lightning-caused blaze, park officials said last month. A fifth of the world’s mature giant sequoia were severely scorched or killed by California wildfires in the past two years alone. The Giant Forest Grove was shielded from the KNP Complex thanks to several prescribed burns that the National Park Service has done in the area since the 1970s…

CNN, December 8, 2021: These Christmas trees may improve your health

The scent of pine and sticky sap waft through the house. A Douglas fir stands tall in the living room, adorned with shiny ornaments and shimmering lights. Almost nothing is as synonymous with holiday decorations as a fresh-cut evergreen tree. The tradition began in Germany in the 16th century and spread to other countries over the next three centuries, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica. The artificial tree was invented in the United States, with the plastic ones we know today originating in the 1950s and 1960s. Artificial trees have grown in popularity due to their convenience and longevity, but they don’t offer the same mental health benefits as spending time around real trees, some studies report. Exposing yourself to a natural environment is known to reduce psychological stress, according to a 2018 study published in Behavioral Sciences. “I would expect that bringing a bit of the great outdoors indoors would affect us positively,” said psychologist Sonja Peterson-Lewis, an associate professor at Temple University in Philadelphia. Multiple studies have shown that forest bathing, mindfully taking a walk through a forest, can have a positive impact on a person’s well-being…

Spokane, Washington, KREM-TV, December 9, 2021: ‘This tree is just sad’: Community joins together to save Christmas in Newport

Christmas trees decorated with many lights and ornaments spark joy for many people during the holiday season. But that joy soon faded for some Newport residents when they saw their town’s tree. The tree, with a few white, red and green lights hanging vertically from it, was a sad sight for some during a time that’s supposed to be filled with the Christmas spirit. But that won’t last for long, as a resident started a fundraiser to decorate next year’s tree that turned into this year’s town joy. “This tree is just sad…we can do better,” Fritz Turner posted on the GoFundMe page that he created. On the GoFundMe page, ‘”Help fix Newport’s town Christmas tree,” Fritz asked the community to come together and raise funds for buying better decorations for the tree. “Even Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree looked better than this sad spruce,” Fritz said on the post. “This is a disgrace to the good name of not only Newport but Saint Nic himself, and I won’t stand for it.” Since the fundraiser was created on Dec. 3, it has raised more than $2,500 of its $5,000 goal as of Thursday afternoon. The funds are will be used to buy the tree’s decorations and lighting for next year’s tree. However, after many residents and local organizations stepped in to help, the tree will now have handmade ornaments made by Newport Middle and High School students. The Public Utilities District (PUD) will be rehanging the lights…

San Antonio, Texas, KSAT-TV, December 8, 2021: Mistletoe isn’t romantic when it’s in your trees — it’s a parasite

Next time you ask someone to meet you under the mistletoe, it may be an arborist to get rid of it. That is, if you’ve got the plant growing in your trees. Not to dampen the holiday spirit, but the Texas A&M Forest Service is warning people that the often romanticized plant is actually a parasite. “While socially it may bring good cheer, biologically it can be quite damaging to trees,” the service posted on Facebook. There are more than 30 species of mistletoe in North America and more than 1,300 species of Mistletoe across the world, according to the forest service. And it’s spread easily by birds that carry the sticky seeds to new hosts. When the plant germinates, its roots penetrate the tree and take water and nutrients from the tree. It also uses photosynthesis to produce energy — so technically it’s considered semiparasitic or hemiparasite. The Texas A&M Forest Service says in Texas, mistletoe affects oak, sugarberry, elm and several species of pine and says any tress that are infested with mistletoe should be treated by pruning, though it can be hard to eradicate. “If extensive pruning is needed, a Certified Arborist should be contacted to assess the tree and the extent of infestation,” the service advised. The good news is, it’s not considered a serious tree pest, so you probably won’t have to kiss your tree goodbye…

Pennlive, December 8, 2021: Is there a Christmas tree shortage? Depends on who you ask.

Is there a Christmas tree shortage? Well, it depends on where you live and who you ask. Michael Breighner, who operates the Gettysburg Tree Farm in Mount Joy Township, Adams County, said he’s not experiencing any shortages. He grows his own trees and sells them too. “We have a large repeat and loyal following,” said Breighner, who has been in the Christmas tree business for more than 40 years. While news reports indicate fewer live trees for holiday shoppers in metropolitan areas and supply chain issues have stalled deliveries of artificial trees, the good news for tree shoppers in Pennsylvania is that growers report a fairly healthy tree inventory. Breighner said he began selling trees before Thanksgiving and still has hundreds left, some as tall as 20 feet. Curtis Sober of Sober’s Trees in Franklin Township, York County and Kendra’s Trees in Monroe Township, Cumberland County said he is doing well because he sells the trees he grows with the exception of one variety. Sober’s Trees has a farm near Ickesburg in Perry County and previously sold Christmas trees in New Cumberland for 55 years…

Charleston, South Carolina, Post & Courier, December 8, 2021: Clemson professor developing ‘vaccine’ to prevent root rot in peach trees

Honey fungus is causing root rot in trees and orchards in South Carolina, posing a threat to one of the nation’s largest peach industries. The Armillaria root rot, also know as oak root rot, is costing farmers millions of dollars yearly in crop loss. But a Clemson University professor is studying ways to manage the disease, including the development of a vaccine to protect this jewel in the Palmetto State. The research is being conducted in the Pee Dee region. People from across the state rush to this area, where Mac’s Pride is popular, to stock up on this special fruit when in season. Sweet and juicy South Carolina-grown peaches have become a staple in cobblers, pies and even teas. Scientists are stepping in to ensure this remains true. Finding a solution to root rot is an important task in supporting the state’s peach industry. When root rot affects peach trees, it decreases the production of the fruit, which can lead to lost revenue, said Ginny Gohagan, a marketing specialist with the state Department of Agriculture. And this loss could get passed on to consumers through fruit shortages and higher prices…

Missoula, Montana, KPAX-TV, December 8, 2021: Mistletoe isn’t romantic when it’s in your trees — it’s a parasite

Next time you ask someone to meet you under the mistletoe, it may be an arborist to get rid of it. That is, if you’ve got the plant growing in your trees. Not to dampen the holiday spirit, but the Texas A&M Forest Service is warning people that the often romanticized plant is actually a parasite. “While socially it may bring good cheer, biologically it can be quite damaging to trees,” the service posted on Facebook. There are more than 30 species of mistletoe in North America and more than 1,300 species of Mistletoe across the world, according to the forest service. And it’s spread easily by birds that carry the sticky seeds to new hosts. The Texas A&M Forest Service says in Texas, mistletoe affects oak, sugarberry, elm and several species of pine and says any tress that are infested with mistletoe should be treated by pruning, though it can be hard to eradicate. “If extensive pruning is needed, a Certified Arborist should be contacted to assess the tree and the extent of infestation,” the service advised. The good news is, it’s not considered a serious tree pest, so you probably won’t have to kiss your tree goodbye. Not to pile on the plant, but it’s also poisonous, so if you do have it in your trees, or in your home over the holidays, make sure that no humans or pets put it in their mouths…

Grand Rapids, Michigan, WOOD-TV, December 8, 2021: Crews to cut down trees, survey Rockford area for balsam woolly adelgid

State employees will visit the Rockford area Wednesday and Thursday to tackle the newest invasive species that could threaten Michigan’s Christmas tree industry. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development first confirmed the presence of balsam woolly adelgid in a set of backyard trees in August. The homeowner noticed the trees seemed sickly and contacted an arborist, whom Woodland Tree Services identified as its arborist, Kathryn Smith. The arborist reported the suspected case to the Midwest Invasive Species Network in July. An expert confirmed it was BWA on Aug. 12. This week, about 20 staff members from MDARD will start systematically surveying the area for balsam woolly adelgid. They’ll collect bark samples about the size of a postage stamp and send them back to a lab for testing, according to Rob Miller, MDARD invasive species prevention and response specialist. Miller says it’ll take a few weeks for the first round of results. Woodland Tree Services‘ arborists have been contracted to remove the infected trees starting next week, Miller and the company confirmed. MDARD and MISN representatives will oversee the process, which will include strict guidelines on how to handle the subsequent woodchips and equipment used to remove the trees. “One adelgid can create hundreds more,” Miller cautioned in a webinar last month…

Salem, Oregon, Statesman, December 6, 2021: Sen. Ron Wyden addresses need to protect Oregon’s Christmas tree industry

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden wants to introduce a bill to fund agricultural research to protect Christmas trees for years to come. Various species of Christmas tree suffered this year through abnormally dry seasons and some record hot days across the state. Seedlings and smaller trees were among the most susceptible to damage. Growers are cultivating Christmas trees on about 300,000 acres nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Oregon and North Carolina produce the most trees, with Clackamas, Marion and Polk counties producing the most trees in Oregon. Wyden visited Silver Bells Tree Farm just outside Silverton on the edge of Silver Creek Canyon Sunday to get a sense of the issues plaguing the industry. Farm owner Casey Grogan said while mature trees on the farm suffered minimal damage from this year’s “heat dome,” the wholesale farm is likely to feel negative impacts in the years to come…

New York City, The New York Times, December 8, 2021: Fox News Christmas Tree Catches Fire in Manhattan

A 50-foot-tall Christmas tree caught fire outside the Fox News headquarters in New York City early on Wednesday, prompting a race to extinguish it and leading to one arrest. The tree had been ceremonially lit in the network’s “All-American” Christmas special on Sunday. One of the network’s hosts announced the fire in a live broadcast. “This is the Fox Square in New York, outside of Fox headquarters,” the host, Shannon Bream, told viewers shortly after midnight. “It appears that our giant Christmas tree there, just a couple of minutes ago, was completely engulfed in flames.” A few minutes later, as a live feed showed smoke billowing above the tree, Ms. Bream said that the fire seemed to have been put out. “But we’re going to monitor the situation to try to figure out what sparked this whole thing,” she added. A representative for Fox News did not immediately respond to an overnight request for comment…

Republic World, December 7, 2021: UK Study Claims Trees In Wetland Areas Are Biggest ‘vents’ Of Methane Gas

A recent study by the researchers at the University of Birmingham unveiled that the majority of methane gas emitted from Amazon wetlands regions is discharged into the atmosphere through tree root systems. The study’s results which have been released in the journal ‘Philosophical Transactions A’ of the Royal Society further stated that a considerable quantity of methane emissions happens even when the ground is not flooded. The researchers discovered indications stating that trees thriving on floodplains in the Amazon basin produce significantly more methane than trees grow in soil or surface water and that this happens in both wet and dry situations. To the atmosphere, wetlands provide a significant amount of methane which is considered to be the second most important greenhouse gas. Although there is a lot of study going on to figure out how much methane is emitted this way, most models believe the gas is only created when the ground is entirely inundated and underwater. As per the study, when there are no trees in the wetland region, methane would usually be ingested by the soil in its direction to the surface. However, researchers believe that in the forested wetland region, the tree root system could act as a transportation network for the gas, carrying it up to the surface where it could emit the gases into the atmosphere through the tree trunks…

FIPP, December 8, 2021: How cutting down trees for paper can improve the health of forests

Deforestation rightfully receives a lot of attention for its links to climate change and biodiversity loss, and it was the topic of one of the most optimistic deals struck early on at the recent COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Yet contrary to what one might believe, given the ubiquity of paper products, cutting down trees for this purpose isn’t a big part of the problem and can even help alleviate it, as discussed by UPM at a recent webinar. Sustainability has also become a hot-button issue for the magazine media industry at large, as readers become more aware of climate change, waste and how materials are sourced. “And if my customers are asking me about sustainability,” said UPM’s Stephanie Eichiner, Senior Manager, Sustainability, “then chances are your customers are going to be asking you.” The historical context is important. Drawing on research from two reports published in 2020 – the UN’s State of the World’s Forests and Forest Europe’s State of Europe’s Forests – Eichiner explained that the 20th century was the century of forest loss, with a peak of tropical forest loss in the 1980s. Once people realized what was happening, global outcry followed, and limits were put in place by some national governments. “In the last 30 years, every year the loss is actually decreasing – we have a net gain of forest growth across the planet,” said Eichiner. In Europe, forest cover has actually expanded by nine per cent in the last 30 years. “That means trees are bigger and more plentiful across the continent,” added Eichiner…

Grand Rapids, Michigan, WZZM-TV, December 6, 2021: Attack Of The Clones: Michigan lab clones ancient trees used to reverse climate change

Giant sequoia trees generally grow on the western slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. But, for the past 73 years, three sequoias have survived and thrived along a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan in Manistee. That’s not supposed to happen, but it is. The genetics that make up the Manistee sequoias have become an obsession for a northern Michigan man who believes with conviction the trees’ DNA is the solution to global climate change, and the cutting-edge work and research he’s doing will eventually prove it. The story begins in 1948 when Manistee, Mich. residents Gertrude and Edward Gray were vacationing in California. They decided to bring six sequoia seedlings back with them to their Michigan home which, today, is known as the Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary. Only three of the sequoias survived, but one of them is truly thriving and continues to grow, which many experts say is a marvel of nature. “For [over] 70 Michigan winters, that tree has somehow survived on that high-bank property in extreme wind,” said David Milarch, who is the co-founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, a Michigan 501(c)(3) nonprofit that preserves the genetics of old-growth trees. “That one tree may be the most important giant sequoia on the planet…”

Greenville, North Carolina, WITN-TV, December 6, 2021: Onslow County tree farm feels impacts from past growing breaks

An Onslow County Christmas tree farmer says they sold out of Christmas trees this past weekend, the earliest that has ever happened in the more than three decades they have been in business. Family farmer Becky Rooks said. “It is six to seven years later and we’re now feeling that gap,” said Rooks. Rooks is referring to when some Christmas tree farmers took a break from planting because of the increasingly popular fake tree. “We had a couple of years where we didn’t plant any Christmas trees because we thought we had enough. Same thing with the Christmas tree growers in the mountains,” she said. Justice Tree Farm in Onslow County grows its own trees and receives some from the mountains. Rooks said they got in less Fraser Furs from their mountain supplier due to the break in growing and other environmental factors. Fewer trees have also meant an increase in prices. James Sprunt Community College agricultural professor Star Jackson explained the cycle trees go through. “You’re going to see times when we have plenty of water and you’re also going to see times where we don’t have a lot of water…”

Baltimore, Maryland, Sun, December 6, 2021: Giant oak trees, some more than a century old, are dying in Maryland and across the mid-Atlantic

Giant oak trees, some more than a century old, are dying in Maryland and across the mid-Atlantic
Jason and Aga Jones loved the magnificent oak tree that was once the centerpiece of their backyard. In 2013 — a year after they bought their home in Takoma Park — they restored a circular stone retaining wall around the base of the tree. In 2019, they added an extension to the back of the home with enormous windows from which they could admire the majestic branches and watch squirrels build nests and collect acorns. Then late last summer, when they hired a company to lop off branches encroaching on the neighbor’s yard, the company’s workers pointed out ominous symptoms: browning leaves, dead branches. Within a year, the tree was dead. “It’s sad. We bought the house because of this oak tree. It’s a great old tree,” Jason Jones said, shaking his head as he peered up at the brown leaves clinging to lifeless limbs on the last evening before workers came to cut it down. He fetched a tape measure from his basement to take stock of the tree: 12 feet in circumference, 4 feet in diameter. “A couple of arborists told me that it is probably one of the oldest trees in the state, but unfortunately it has the blight and it has to come down,” he said, looking across his neighborhood’s sweeping green canopy, then back at his own withered oak…

St. Louis, Missouri, Post-Dispatch, December 5, 2021: Whitewash, tree guard can protect young trees in winter

Q: • I’ve noticed some orchards look like they have their trees painted white, and I was curious as to why that was. I have a few apple trees around my house and thought maybe this was something I should be doing.
A • Whitewashing tree trunks is a tried-and-true technique to prevent injury to trees from sunscald and frost cracking during the colder months. These injuries typically occur on the southwestern side of trees during sunny winter days, which can raise bark temperatures to 80 to 90 degrees before rapidly cooling at night. The high temperatures lower cold hardiness, opening them up to frost damage. The temperature drop at night can cause the bark to quickly contract, causing cracking. Young, thin barked species such as maples, apples and sycamore are particularly susceptible to these types of injuries and appreciate extra protection to prevent damage. Be sure to keep trees hydrated until the ground freezes. Having properly watered trees is the most important step you can take to prevent them from sustaining winter injury. To beef up your tree’s defense further, you can either use a tree guard or apply whitewash, as is done in orchards…

New York City, The New York Times, December 2, 2021: Hundreds of Companies Promised to Help Save Forests. Did They?

When a shopper in New York, say, plucks a Milky Way bar from a grocery store shelf, that shopper becomes the final link in a long chain that might have started on a patch of land in Ghana, where a tropical forest recently stood. About 80 percent of the trees razed each year in the tropics are cleared to make space for growing cocoa, soybeans, palm oil and cattle that are the raw materials for chocolate, cereal, leather seats and thousands of other products. Ten years ago, some of the world’s largest companies, including Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Walmart and Mars, pledged to change their practices to help end deforestation by 2020. Some, like Nestle and Carrefour, went even further, saying they would eliminate deforestation from their supply chains altogether. The 2020 deadline arrived, and some companies reported advances toward their goal. No company, however, could say it had eliminated forest destruction from its supply chain. Many others did not even try, said Didier Bergeret, sustainability director for the Consumer Goods Forum, an industry group of more than 400 retailers and manufacturers that organized the pledge. And annual deforestation in the tropics, where trees store the most carbon and harbor the most biodiversity, has lately been on the rise…

Martins Ferry, Ohio, Times-Leader, December 2, 2021: Christmas tree safety

Winter is the peak season for home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Agency and the U.S. Fire Administration, with cooking and home heating the leading causes. Candles, decorations and Christmas trees are among other cause of fires during the last two months of the year. Between 2013-2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 15 injuries and $10 million in direct property damage annually. On average, one of every 52 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 135 total reported home fires. If you are purchasing a live Christmas tree, make sure to purchase a fresh one. The U.S. Fire Administration reported needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut…

London, UK, The Guardian, December 1, 2021: Britain’s worst Christmas trees: is anything secretly more festive and fun than a disappointing fir?

Name: Disappointing Christmas trees. Height: As much as 25m. Appearance: Well, this is the thing. Some are described as “rubbish” and “just shocking”, while others are “a bit of a joke” and – wait for it – “not very Christmassy”. Is this like the big Christmas tree in London’s Trafalgar Square being called “sad and spindly”? No! That’s a 50 to 60-year-old spruce – Picea abies – sent from Norway every year as a show of gratitude to the British for their support during the second world war. And while one Christmas tree critic tweeted: “Crikey, who has upset Norway?”, you can’t really be disappointed by such a majestic gesture. So what are we talking about then? We are talking about people’s civic pride being dented when they wait with excitement to see the festive joy of their local Christmas lights switch on, only to find a pylon in place of a tree…

Mansfield, Ohio, News-Journal, November 30, 2021: A Stroll through the Garden: Anti-transpirants can help plants survive the cold

A number of years ago I came across a bottle of anti-transpirant and I wondered what the material was used for myself. This information should be referred to this time of year on a regular basis. So, I’ll attempt to answer my reader’s question about this material here. Anti-transpirants or anti-desiccants are compounds that are applied to the leaves of plants to reduce transpiration for the most part. They consist of a colorless film on the leaf surface which allows diffusion of gases but not of water vapor. Examples of the anti-transpirant include silicone oil and waxes. This compound, anti-transpirant, is also the material you might see being sprayed on Christmas trees when they are being harvested in the fields, or on plants that are being harvested such as flowers that are going to a florist. Each year during the winter when the temperatures are cold for an extended period of time and the soil freezes below the roots, you will see the evergreen, like rhododendrons and azalea that are on all year, are leaves that look normal as you may see them during any time of the year. When the temperatures rise after an extended period during a cold winter, you begin to notice that the leaves curl and look a little like a stick. What is going on is that the leaf is trying to transpire and bring the water up from its roots and leave through the pores or stomas. Only problem is that when the ground is frozen the plant can’t perform as it normally would and that is the azalea’s normal reaction to the transpiration process…

Associated Press, November 30, 2021: Ancient juniper trees illegally cut in New Mexico monument

Several dozen ancient alligator juniper trees have been illegally cut down at El Malpais National Monument in western New Mexico and authorities with the National Park Service are trying to find out who’s responsible. Known for their unique furrowed bark, alligator junipers grow very slowly. A seed can take up to 18 months to mature after pollination and the growth rate for young trees is about 0.6 inches (1.5 centimeters) per decade, slowing as they get older. Officials said the trees that were cut down were likely hundreds of years old. Lisa Dittman, a spokeswoman for the national monument, said Tuesday that officials don’t know why the trees are being targeted or what they’re being used for. Rural New Mexico residents frequently cut wood in the fall to help with winter heating needs, but cutting trees at El Malpais is illegal. The cutting of alligator junipers affects biodiversity within the monument and officials said the area will take many decades to recover…

Lubbock, Texas, Avalanche-Journal, November 30, 2021: Choose the right Christmas tree this holiday season

There are plenty of options for decorative trees during the holiday season. Texas A&M AgriLife experts have ideas and tips for a live or cut Christmas tree, including an increasingly popular option — live container-grown or balled-and-burlap trees. Oregon and North Carolina account for 51% of harvested Christmas trees annually, with almost 3.4 million and 4.3 million trees, respectively. But tree farms in Texas have increased over recent years both as a destination experience and supplier of shipped and locally grown trees. Fraser, Douglas and balsam firs are popular tree varieties shipped from other parts of the country. Eastern red cedar, Virginia and Afghan pine, and Arizona, Leyland and Carolina sapphire cypress trees are suited for growing in Texas climates. These can be bought locally as a cut tree or in a container. Mike Arnold, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Research landscape horticulturist in the Department of Horticulture Sciences and director of the Gardens at Texas A&M University, Bryan-College Station, said there is a growing trend during the holidays to decorate potted live trees. Potted trees, unlike cut trees, can be planted into a landscape after their decorative use…

London, UK, The Mirror, November 30, 2021: Wealthy homeowner accused of poisoning protected tree that blocked sun from house

A wealthy homeowner killed a protected tree that blocked the sun on his luxury property after failing to secure permission to fell it legally, a court heard. Robert Page arranged to have the 65ft mature pine in the front garden of his home near Poole Harbour, Dorset, poisoned with a deadly herbicide, it is alleged. The ‘huge and historic’ specimen was protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) and had stood in the posh neighbourhood of Lilliput since the early 1950s. From 2015, Mr Page, 68, had applied to the local council for consent to have it removed. But after the application was refused in 2018, the evergreen began to wither and die despite having decades of natural life ahead of it, a jury heard. A landscape gardener employed by Mr Page emailed the town hall informing them he would be removing the tree which was ‘dying and weeks from death’. The message prompted a tree officer to visit the £900,000 detached house that is close to Sandbanks to inspect the Monterey pine. The court heard that the expert discovered it had been sabotaged. Holes had been drilled into the trunk and a herbicide poured inside and concrete tipped around the base to remove oxygen from the roots, ‘choking’ the Monterey pine. The culprit also ‘ring barked’ the tree meaning they cut out a section of bark to prevent it from absorbing nutrients…

Lexington, Kentucky, WTVQ-TV, November 30, 2021: Mayor, Council to file complaint with PSC, ask courts to stop KU from cutting trees

Mayor Linda Gorton asked the Urban County Council to take a strong stand Tuesday against Kentucky Utilities and its decision to clear-cut trees near transmission lines in Lexington. The Council gave initial approval to Gorton’s plan to file a formal complaint with the Kentucky Public Service Commission concerning Kentucky Utilities’ actions, and to seek immediate relief by asking the courts to impose an injunction to stop the chain saws. Gorton said the complaint and injunction are being prepared, and will be filed as soon as possible. “Over the past year we have been working with KU to try to find a way forward that protects our trees and our electric grid because clearly both are important,” Gorton said. “Sadly, the company has not shown our city respect in return. With few exceptions they have ignored our requests. Yesterday, the company again started cutting down trees indiscriminately. Trees that could not possibly interfere with transmission lines.” Vice Mayor Steve Kay said, “It’s unfortunate that an important corporate citizen is unwilling to listen to the clear concerns of the community it exists to serve. As a Council we have been committed to improving our environment. This is a real setback.” KU is applying the same clear-cutting practices it uses in more rural areas, where there are acres of trees, to Lexington neighborhoods. “That makes no sense. We have worked hard and invested resources to build a tree canopy. Trees are important to our city. Lexington has been a Tree City USA for 33 years. Trees help control stormwater, improve air quality, provide shade and enhance our neighborhoods…”

Raleigh, North Carolina, News & Observer, November 29, 2021: Fallen 100,000-pound oak tree crushes man in California home, firefighters say

An enormous oak tree toppled onto an Encino, California, home in the dead of night, crushing a 64-year-old man in a second-story bedroom, firefighters said. Los Angeles Fire Department crews tried to extricate the man from the wreckage, but he was pronounced dead, a news release said. “I’ve never experienced anything like this,” Capt. Cody Weireter told KTLA. “You’re looking at well over 100,000 pounds of a tree falling onto a home in the middle of the night.” Firefighters rescued two women and a dog on the first floor of the 3,200-square-foot home after the tree fell about 11 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, the Los Angeles Times reported. None were hurt. There were no high winds or gusts, but neighbor Tony Montero told KTLA that he’d expressed concern about the tree to his wife. “It was leaning directly over the house … it was probably 30 degrees,” Montero told the station. Another neighbor, Mark Ruszecki, told the Los Angeles Times that he initially thought the noise of the tree falling was an earthquake. He estimated it was 700 years old…

Missoula, Montana, Missoulian, November 28, 2021: Tough time for trees: Old logging lands need lots of work

Trees talk in rings and needles, and the trees along Gold Creek are cranky. The life story of a 35-year-old Douglas fir appears in a core of wood the size of a long kitchen match. The growth rings near its bole, or center, expand a quarter-inch a year during its youth. The outer rings, chronicling the past decade, squish together in sixteenths of an inch or less. “It was growing really well and then it just closed in,” Bureau of Land Management forester Kyle Johnson said, examining the core he’d just drilled out of the trunk. Grabbing a branch, Johnson displayed the frazzled, needleless tips. In addition to fighting for water with five other trees inside a hula hoop’s circle of space, the fir was having its photosynthesis capacity nibbled away by tussock moth caterpillars. The rolling hillsides flanking Gold and Belmont creeks once rumbled with industrial logging that supplied the mills southwest in Bonner, Missoula and Frenchtown. Today, most of that 117,000-acre basin belongs to the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation or The Nature Conservancy (which plans to transfer its holdings there to public ownership). What those hillsides should look like has brought a crowd of stakeholders to the table for an exercise in restoration forestry. The tussock moths and other destructive insects thrive in overstocked, single-age tree stands. Those stands are so homogeneous and crowded because they’ve all grown back at once since the hillside was clear-cut in the 1980s…

CBS News, November 28, 2021: The oldest trees on Earth

High atop the remote, rocky slopes of California’s White Mountains, the harsh conditions make it difficult for life to take root. But for a certain type of tree – and for those who have traveled here to study it – this place is paradise. These gnarled bristlecone pines are the oldest individual trees in the world. Researchers like Andy Bunn have come to learn from the ancients. Correspondent Conor Knighton asked Bunn, “Looking at this tree, would you have any idea how old this is?” “I’ve been doing this long enough to not try and play the guessing game too much,” he replied. “It’d be easy for this tree to be a thousand years old; it would be easier for it to be two thousand years old. Older than that would be unusual, but not impossible.” There are bristlecones in this grove that are more than twice as old. “It’s remarkable to sit there and have your hand on one of those trees and know that it was growing when the Pyramids were built,” said Bunn…

Tallahassee, Florida, Democrat, November 26, 2021: Top native trees to plant to add brilliant fall color, breakfast for songbirds

As daytime temperatures cool and open windows at night let in refreshing breezes, you may need a light blanket on the bed. Day lengths are getting shorter as the planet travels around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour toward the winter solstice. Trees begin preparing for winter by transferring chlorophyll from leaves into stems, showing us other colors present in the leaves. We enjoy this time of year with comfortable temperatures and the colorful change of seasons. Compared to New England, North Florida fall color is more variable from year to year, but we do have several trees with dependable fall color. The trees mentioned here are all American natives which, in addition to great fall color, have value to wildlife throughout the year. Take oaks as an example. White oak and swamp chestnut oak leaves typically turn a pleasant shade of red. In spring and summer, caterpillars dine on their new succulent leaves. In the United States, 90 species of oaks are food for 534 species of caterpillars! Most of these caterpillars become high quality protein for baby birds and their parents. In autumn, acorns are food for insects, birds, and mammals…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, November 28, 2021: Michael Potter: Tips for picking and caring for a real
Christmas tree

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a real Christmas tree! Right? For some, that is the only way to do Christmas. So, I was doing a little thinking over Thanksgiving and decided to shed some light on a few tips to help you select the right tree for your family or situation. Of course, I know there are a lot of early-birds that have already purchased their trees. Hopefully some of this information will be valuable either now or in the future. Whether you purchase your tree from a neighborhood lot, a Christmas tree farm or any other establishment; here are a few things to consider. Choose a spot where the tree will be placed. Will it be seen from all sides or will some of it be up against a wall? Choose a spot away from heat sources, such as TVs, fireplaces and air ducts. Place the tree clear of doors. For most of us married guys, placement is where the wife tells us. Measure the height and width of the location in the room where the tree will be placed. Also make a quick measurement of the maximum size that the tree stand can handle. If the tree you buy is too big, you may have to buy a larger tree stand. There is nothing worse than buying a tree only to find that it’s too tall or too wide for the area or too big for the tree stand. Take a tape measure with you to measure the tree you select and bring rope or tie-down straps to secure the tree. Remember, most trees come from out of state and may have been experienced dry conditions during transit. You can ask the retailer when they receive shipments or when the next batch will come in. The fresher the tree, the longer it will last…

Orlando, Florida, Sentinel, November 24, 2021: ‘Their goal is to bleed owners dry’

When Martin Kessler moved to the Solivita development in Poinciana, Florida in 2008, he says he quickly realized it was a big mistake. This was the first place the 97-year-old had ever lived with a homeowners association. “Living in an HOA is not really a pleasant thing for a resident,” Kessler said. A retired economist, he said the fee he was required to pay was “a capitalist’s perfect dream of a business. People must join whether they like it or not, and they pay all the expenses of the business.” Kessler is among more than 5,000 members of the 55-plus community locked in a class action lawsuit since 2017 against Solivita developer Avatar Properties, which they allege improperly collected HOA fees. On Nov. 2, Polk County, Florida, Circuit Judge Wayne Durden awarded the residents $34.8 million. “That’s the biggest award I’ve ever heard of,” said Harvella Jones, president of the National Homeowners Advocate Group. Based in Texas, Jones’ organization specializes in helping people fight HOAs and lobbies for homeowner protections. “We get calls from all over the country, but no one has ever reported to us a win as large as (Solivita).” Experts agree that fighting HOAs is hard for residents and big wins are even rarer. In Florida, HOAs govern more than 44% of the population, according to research by analysts at iProperty Management. With fees that can reach into the thousands of dollars from an estimated 3.5 million homes in the state, HOAs can make lawsuits long and costly for residents. “Their goal is to bleed owners dry,” said Jan Bergemann, president of Cyber Citizens for Justice, a homeowner’s advocacy group based in DeLand. “They will hit you with motion after motion, tie it up for years…”

Ventura, California, Ventura County Star, November 28, 2021: ‘A funeral for their demise’: Ventura tree removals lead to outrage

Decades-old pine trees cut down to stumps earlier this month along the perimeter of the Imperial Ventura Mobile Home Estates raised alarms among mobile home residents and neighbors. But the fate of the remaining dozen or so trees along Thille Street in East Ventura is unclear. Mobile park resident Nancy Culton, 74, said the trees had been around for more than 30 years but had not been cared for. “Nobody told us they were going to cut these trees down. They just showed up and started cutting,” she said. Phone messages left for the property management company of the mobile home park on Wednesday and Friday were not returned before deadline. Neighbor Paul Cordeiro said he discovered on Nov. 12 that about 10 of the evergreens were removed between the wall of the property and sidewalk. “I was horrified to see what was going on,” he said. He said crews were cutting down pine trees outside the motor home park property, leaving them denuded…

Tweaktown, November 29, 2021:Trees are greening sooner than they should be, and new data show why

Lin Meng won the grand prize for 2021’s Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists for her research into how city environments impact tree phenology. “Phenology is the study of periodic events in biological life cycles and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate, as well as habitat factor,” according to Wikipedia. Meng set out to determine how global warming and bright artificial lighting conditions in cities changed when trees started growing leaves in spring. Previous research has shown that higher temperatures impact vegetation growth in cities, so the following question is how global warming affects that. Meng analyzed satellite data spanning 2001 to 2014 and 85 cities in the United States to find when trees began growing leaves. Trees “greened up” an average of six days earlier and were responding more rapidly to climate change in urban areas than in rural areas. Using data from NASA’s Black Marble satellite, which measures artificial light in cities, along with phenology data from the USA National Phenology Network, Ming could also determine how lighting conditions were impacting green-up times for trees in American cities. In the most extreme cases, green-up occurred nine days sooner than expected. Ming suggests artificially extended day length due to urban lights leads to earlier spring greening of vegetation in cities, exacerbating the already early greening due to warming cities…

Washington, D.C., Post, November 26, 2021: Oh Christmas tree, not you, too: Supply-chain problems come to the fir trade

Not even Christmas trees could escape the economic pandemonium of 2021. Rerouted Fraser firs, fried Oregon pines, artificial trees caught in broken supply chains, and sky-high transportation costs have contorted the seasonal arbor trade like an oversized tree scrunched under a low ceiling. The situation has importers, growers, sellers and — now, finally — buyers even more frazzled heading into Black Friday, when Christmas tree shopping begins in earnest. Now many families are unsure whether they will spend the holiday gathered around a majestic tower of greenery — or something more reminiscent of Charlie Brown’s sad spectacle. “Christmas is not canceled, everyone will be able to find a Christmas tree,” said Jami Warner, executive director of the American Christmas Tree Association, a trade group representing the artificial tree industry. Exactly what kind of tree will await people, though, is less clear. The supply chain Grinch may still gum up the works. A plywood sign at Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Va., reads, “Due to a shortage of good Fraser fir trees, the boosters will not be having the annual tree sale this year.” And for National Tree Co., a leading importer of artificial trees, manufacturing time has roughly doubled since before the pandemic, and delivery from Southern China through the Panama Canal and to New York has increased from three weeks to eight…

Medford, Oregon, Mail Tribune, November 25, 2021: Drought-stressed Oregon trees scorched in heat wave

This summer’s heat scorched Oregon trees — maybe worse than ever before — and scientists are beginning to piece together what that means for the trees’ long-term health. Reports of fading foliage and crispy conifers started coming within days of a June heat wave, during which many parts of the state endured consecutive days with temperatures higher than 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Aerial surveys from the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry and Washington Department of Natural Resources documented tree scorching on about 229,000 acres in Oregon, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. That’s likely an undercount, given the method’s limitations. “By some estimates, it’s probably the largest scorch event in history,” Oregon State University researcher Christopher Still told OPB’s “Think Out Loud” this week. “I mean this is a new thing for us to be seeing on Earth, so it’s sort of a dubious milestone.” Researchers like Still, with help from citizen scientists, have spent months documenting the heat wave’s effects on Oregon’s trees…

New York City, The New York Times, November 26, 2021: A Tree That Was Once the Suburban Ideal Has Morphed Into an Unstoppable Villain

In the distance, beside a brick house in a tidy subdivision, the trees rose above a wooden fence, showing off all that had made the Bradford pear so alluring: They were towering and robust and, in the early spring, had white flowers that turned their limbs into perfect clouds of cotton. But when David Coyle, a professor of forest health at Clemson University, pulled over in his pickup, he could see the monster those trees had spawned: a forbidding jungle that had consumed an open lot nearby, where the same white flowers were blooming uncontrollably in a thicket of tangled branches studded with thorns. “When this tree gets growing somewhere, it does not take long to take over the whole thing,” Professor Coyle, an invasive species expert, said. “It just wipes everything out underneath it.” Beginning in the 1960s, as suburbs sprouted across the South, clearing land for labyrinths of cul-de-sacs and two-car garages, Bradford pears were the trees of choice. They were easily available, could thrive in almost any soil and had an appealing shape with mahogany-red leaves that lingered deep into the fall and flowers that appeared early in the spring…

Chicago, Illinois, WBBM-TV, November 26, 2021: West Lakeview Neighbors Want Every Option Explored To Keep Trees From Being Cut Down For City Water Pipe Replacement

Dozens of trees are potentially slated to get the axe in West Lakeview, and residents have been mobilizing to stop it. As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported Wednesday evening, these residents do not want a repeat of the virtual clearcutting seen in other neighborhoods. They want every preservation option explored. The trees are decades old and towering – one of them is about 10 times taller than Kozlov herself, who is a little over 5 feet. They may all be cut down by the city in the next couple of months for water pipe replacement. So some who live in the area are being proactive – taking action and demanding the city be more transparent about its plans. The trees mean a lot to many living on a two-block stretch of Paulina Street in West Lakeview – from Belmont Avenue to the six-way intersection with Lincoln Avenue and Roscoe Street. “People in the neighborhood really care about the trees,” said Caroline Teichner…

Raleigh, North Carolina, News & Observer, November 23, 2021: This invasive pest could travel to NC on Christmas trees. What to do if you see one

If you’re getting ready to start your Christmas decorating with a live tree, beware the spotted lanternfly. The invasive pest is encroaching on North Carolina, and while the insects are “indiscriminate egg layers” with a wide variety of host vegetation, experts say they could travel to the state on Christmas trees from nearby Virginia, where a small infestation was recently detected. The spotted lanternfly generally doesn’t kill the trees they prey on, but they can cause significant damage to agricultural crops and reduce yields.  The News & Observer talked with Larry Long, forest health monitoring coordinator with the N.C. Forest Service, and with Kelly Oten, an assistant professor and forest health specialist at N.C. State University, to learn more about the spotted lanternfly, the risks they pose and the proper steps you should take if you see the pest this holiday season. Here’s what we learned.  The spotted lanternfly is an invasive pest that is… native to China, India and Vietnam, and was introduced to Korea in 2004. It was first found in the U.S. in eastern Pennsylvania in 2014 and has since been spotted in New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Indiana and Massachusetts

Phys.org, November 23, 2021: Urban trees are a singular weapon in stormwater management

It’s hard to overstate the environmental importance of trees, which among other functions pull climate change-inducing carbon from the atmosphere, clean the air of toxins and help control runoff. While it can likewise be hard to quantify some of these effects, a new study by University of Maryland researchers helps clarify the role of urban trees in mitigating stormwater flows, and finds that even isolated trees lining a street or planted in a park may have a significant effect. A study published yesterday in the journal Scientific Reports by Assistant Professor Mitch Pavao-Zuckerman and doctoral candidate Sara Ponte, both of the Department of Environmental Science and Technology, found that individually planted trees capture, store and release stormwater back into the atmosphere—a process called “transpiration”—at a rate three times that of trees in a forest. The study was conducted in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the nonprofit Center for Watershed Protection, with funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust…

Tulsa, Oklahoma, KOKI-TV, November 23, 2021: Turkey Mountain officials ask public not to steal trees, other plants from the park

Tuesday afternoon, Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area published a message to visitors on their Facebook page: Don’t steal. “We’re a little sad that we have to say this, but don’t take plants and trees from the park,” the post warned. Officials explained that they came across a couple in the park that were digging up seedlings, removing bushes and cutting branches at Turkey Mountain. The couple was doing this in order to move the plants to their own yard, according to the post…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, KARE-TV, November 23, 2021: ‘Assisted migration’ helps trees move so forests survive climate change

Red oak trees are not particularly common in northeastern Minnesota. But on the University of Minnesota Duluth’s research plot, 850 1-year-old trees have taken root. “They’re really small,” said Dr. Julie Etterson, a professor in the department of biology at UMD, while pointing to what looked like a stick in the ground. Etterson and other researchers, at UMD and several other groups will be studying those “sticks” in the years to come, watching them grow to see how they do in northeastern Minnesota’s climate. Given how much that climate has changed in recent history, it might not be too hard a task. “The idea is that the climate has shifted further north and so maybe the plants are mismatched with the climate they are adapted to,” Etterson said. “Some species are unaffected, some species are benefitting…and some species are really suffering, like paper birch…what’s happening is we’re ending up with areas, patches of empty habitat…”

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, November 23, 2021: Elmwood Park’s ‘Scottie Ash Seed’ protects trees in public parks, inoculating them against the much-feared emerald ash borer

It’s an unlikely place for a nature hike: Tucked away on the Northwest Side of Chicago, the Montclare neighborhood is marked by quiet streets, neat bungalows and postage-stamp lawns. But Scott Carlini’s pale blue eyes are alight as he peers over fences and rooftops. There, more than a block away, he spots them, towering six stories above the ground, their gnarled branches black against a gray sky. “Those are the ash trees I’m going to be taking you to,” he says. Since 2006, Carlini, 58, of Elmwood Park, has been on a one-man mission to save the Chicago area’s historic ash trees from the ravages of the emerald ash borer, a torpedo-shaped metallic-green beetle that has killed more than 6 million trees in the Chicago region since 2010. In his spare time, and at his own expense, he protects 50 trees in the Chicago area and Wisconsin, inoculating them with a highly effective insecticide. Carlini said he is fulfilling a promise he made to himself as a tree-loving kid growing up in Chicago and Elmwood Park. Even as an 8-year-old, he questioned whether damaged trees really had to be cut down, and when Dutch elm disease started taking its toll, his resolve intensified. “I said, if something like Dutch elm happens again, when my generation is in charge, I will be in the forefront, helping tree owners save their trees,” he recalled…

Pensacola, Florida, News Journal, November 19, 2021: Roger Scott renovation plan would have removed 70 trees, so council nixed the plan

A Pensacola City Council decision Thursday to hold off on approving site plans for the Roger Scott Tennis Center to investigate how to save 70 protected trees — including two heritage trees — served as a win for the region’s tree advocates. What was a routine vote to accept an interlocal agreement with Escambia County turned into a community discussion on the need to protect trees at Thursday’s City Council meeting, ultimately leading to a unanimous vote to kick back the design to save as many trees as possible. The city and county are each kicking in up to $1.3 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to renovate the aging courts that Mayor Grover Robinson has said are beyond their lifespan and inaccessible by wheelchair users right now. The point of contention is that the current design involves installing a large stormwater retention pond and a parking lot that requires the removal of those trees, something many council members say they didn’t know about until this week. About a dozen public speakers supported both renovating the courts and mitigating the impact to the trees. “The facility should be designed with the idea of low-impact development,” resident Margaret Hostetter said. “We don’t need to continue digging these huge holes in the ground… There are lots of other design types that could be used…”

New York City, The New York Times, November 20, 2021: Wildfires in California Killed Thousands of Giant Sequoias

Three wildfires in California in the past 15 months killed or mortally wounded thousands of mature giant sequoias, accounting for an estimated 13 to 19 percent of the world’s population of the majestic trees, officials said on Friday. A National Park Service report estimated that two fires in September, sparked by a lighting storm, caused 2,261 to 3,637 mature giant sequoias — or between 3 to 5 percent of the population of mature giant sequoias — to be killed or so severely burned that they were expected to die within five years. Mature giant sequoias have a diameter of more than four feet. Giant sequoias, which are found on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada in California, can live thousands of years on their way to dwarfing most everything around them. These trees include iconic national treasures like the General Sherman Tree, which is considered the world’s largest tree, standing at 275 feet tall with a diameter of 36 feet at the base. The death of the trees in staggering numbers is the product of a “deadly combination” of unnaturally dense forests caused by fire suppression that began about 150 years ago and increasingly intense droughts driven by climate change, Clay Jordan, superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, said in an interview on Friday night…

Pontiac, Illinois, Daily Leader, November 19, 2021: Watering trees, shrubs in the fall and winter is a balancing act

After this year’s summer drought in Illinois, it is more important than ever to monitor soil moisture conditions and water trees and shrubs going into winter. Drought conditions in the late fall, along with dry air and low soil moisture, can lead to plant damage if no supplemental water is provided. “If soil is dry, homeowners should consider watering their trees and shrubs this fall and winter,” says Gemini Bhalsod, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. Plants under water stress are more susceptible to insects and diseases. They can also experience injuries to roots or foliage. Before watering, check the soil moisture. Monitor the moisture levels about once a week. Dig a small hole under the tree’s drip line, 4 to 6 inches is enough. Feel for moisture. If the soil is dry, the tree should be watered. “This little bit of consistent effort will pay off in the long run,” Bhalsod says…

Seattle, Washington, KING-TV, November 21, 2021: Expect fewer Christmas trees, higher prices thanks to summer heat wave

We all know why it’s good to be the early bird, but with Thanksgiving turkeys still defrosting it seems early to be thinking about a real Christmas tree. However, those in the industry warn supply may be tighter than ever this year. Last summer’s heat wave is coming back to haunt us as tree shoppers discover how some tree farms were impacted. At Trinity Tree Farm in Issaquah, the mature trees did better than new plantings. “I would say half of what we planted last year is not going to survive,” Geoff Wiley said. It can take a decade for a tree to be ready depending on the variety. Wiley said this damage may mean more shortages in future years. Though many of their mature trees made it through the heat wave without major damage, Wiley said he’s heard of other farms that weren’t so lucky. “It’s horrible to watch it because you see it happening and then you can’t do anything to control it and you have to wait and see how bad the damage is going to turn out to be,” Wiley said. Trinity will replant the young trees they lost but other farms that are dealing with mature tree damage might find it harder…

Raleigh, North Carolina, WNCN-TV, November 21, 2021: Want a Christmas tree this year? Shortage means you should buy early, experts say

From low supply to shipping backlogs, experts are telling Christmas tree shoppers to buy one sooner rather than later – and that goes for both real and artificial trees. It was opening weekend at Jordan Lake Christmas Tree Farm in Apex. The farm’s co-owner, Byron May, said it was one of, if not the busiest, opening weekends in his more than 25 years in business. He said demand for real trees is higher than supply right now. He said he has about 25 percent fewer trees to sell than he would like. “I’m not gonna be able to get the number of trees that I wanted, at least the Fraser firs, so I’m concerned that after the December weekend, supply is gonna be tight,” May said. He’s noticed an increased demand in the past three to four years but said growers in the North Carolina mountains are behind that demand, noting many have retired in recent years. May grows some of his own trees and gets Fraser firs from the mountains. “I hate to turn anyone away that wants to come out and get a real tree,” May said. “All we can do is sell what we can get and make as many people happy as we can…”

Reuters, November 18, 2021: Why Canada’s floods could make your Christmas tree cost more

Finding the perfect real Christmas tree will be harder and more expensive this year. Canada, the world’s top exporter of natural Christmas trees, is grappling with a shortage that will likely be exacerbated by historic flooding in British Columbia, where some tree farms are underwater. A phenomenon known as an atmospheric river dumped a month’s worth of rain on the Pacific province in just two days, destroying roads and bridges and leaving some communities cut off from the rest of Canada. Canada exports about 2.3 million Christmas trees per year, with some 97% going to the United States. While British Columbia does not export cut Christmas trees, it is a significant domestic supplier. That means shortfalls in that province will have to be made up with supply from elsewhere, leaving fewer Canadian trees for export. “We can’t ship them because all the roads are closed,” said Arthur Loewen, whose tree farm in Chilliwack, east of Vancouver, has been swamped. “We’re basically shut down until the water recedes…”

York, Pennsylvania, Daily Record, November 22, 2021: Here’s why Pennsylvania won’t run short on Christmas trees, mushrooms or holiday spirits

Fear not. There will be plenty of Christmas trees for sale in Pennsylvania, wine, beer, Kennett Square mushrooms, and turkeys for the holidays, experts say. The shortages feared across the country also worry farmers, brewers, vintners, and grocers because the panic could hurt business more than any shortages. “We’ve never run out of trees,” said Michelle Keyser, director of communications for the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association. “It’s not like a toilet paper situation.” In the case of trees, alcohol and food products, the advice from experts is: Buy early, if a specific variety of tree or food is needed. Demand for goods increased “substantially” in 2021, between 10 and 20 percent since last year, according to Brent B. Moritz, associate professor of supply chain management at Penn State University. “Barring some other unforeseen change, I expect demand to continue to be strong for let’s just say the next two quarters.” Advice from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture: “In general, we would encourage shoppers to buy local. Generally, the shorter the supply chain, the fewer shortages there are…”

New York City, WNBC-TV, November 17, 2021: ‘Little Apple of Death’: All the Ways the ‘World’s Deadliest’ Tree in Florida Can Harm

Florida is full of formidable creatures: Alligators, pythons, blacktip sharks and other animals known to bite, chomp, attack and chase. But reptiles and bloodthirsty predators aren’t the only lethal living things in the Sunshine State. A tree can be just as deadly. The Manchineel tree, found in the Florida Everglades and parts of the Caribbean coast, was dubbed the most dangerous tree in the world by “The Guinness Book of World Records” in 2011. On the surface, it seems harmless: A green, leafy tree bearing fruits that resemble green apples. But don’t be fooled: Everything from the bark, sap and fruit can be incredibly dangerous to humans.“Even standing under it in the rain is enough to cause blistering if the skin is wetted by raindrops containing any sap,” Guinness World Records says. “In addition, a single bite of its small green apple-like fruit causes blistering and severe pain, and can prove fatal.” Colloquially known as the “beach apple” tree, the Manchineel — botanical name Hippomane mancinella — can cause severe medical problems. The milky sap can cause blistering, burns and inflammation when in contact with the skin, according to the National Institutes of Health…

Reuters, November 17, 2021: ‘The woods next door’: U.S. community forests take root

Chris Gensic swept his arms around him as he sought to fully explain the scope of the surrounding Virginia forest – as a project, a green space and an opportunity for local residents. A parks and trails planner for Charlottesville, Gensic was standing just off a new trail in the 142-acre (57-hectare) Heyward Community Forest, which he helped the city buy and which opened to the public just before the pandemic hit. The new parcel connects other forestlands in the area. “To have a huge, unbroken forest tract that’s been a forest for a long time – you feel like you’re in a national park, even though you’re two miles out of the city,” he said, surrounded by towering tulip poplars and oaks, their leaves rustling in a warm October breeze. While the city owns Heyward, it is designated as a community forest, purchased in part with funding from a federal program that has helped establish dozens of similar projects across the country in the past decade. They are all part of a growing movement of creating urban and rural green spaces that involve residents in local conservation efforts, backers say. “The community is the one that’s been coming up here and creating trails. The nonprofits come up here and remove invasive species. Groups (ask) if they can bring kids up here and educate them,” Gensic told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “To me the word ‘community’ means all of that – it’s not one agency, one nonprofit, but rather the entire community that sees the value in this,” he added…

National Geographic, November 11, 2021: Europe burns a controversial ‘renewable’ energy source: trees from the U.S

North Carolina’s Cape Fear River is dotted with industrial facilities, cranes, storage containers, large ships, and old cypress trees with large roots anchored in the water. Near the mouth of the river, two white domes, each capable of holding 45,000 metric tons of wood, tower over the river bank. It’s here, where the river meets the sea, that wood pellets stored in the domes are packed onto a ship and transported across the Atlantic, to be burned in power plants that generate electricity. Millions of tons of wood pellets, each the length of a fingernail and width of a straw, are replacing coal in Europe. Billed as a clean fuel that helps countries meet their renewable energy targets, these so-called woody biofuels are at the center of a rapidly growing industry valued at $50 billion globally in 2020. The logic behind considering them a renewable source of energy, like solar or wind, is simple: As long as forests are allowed to regrow after trees are cut and burned, the carbon dioxide released by burning will be absorbed by the growing trees. It’s a net-zero transaction, proponents say—and the European Union and other governments have accepted the argument. Wood is considered a zero-emissions fuel…

Erie, Pennsylvania, Times-News, November 18, 2021: Struggling with blight, American chestnut tree faces new disease identified by Erie County researchers

Erie has a Chestnut Street. So do Cranesville and Corry, Girard and Lake City, Edinboro, Waterford and North East. There’s a reason you find so many stretches of road that carry that name here and elsewhere in the eastern United States. American chestnut trees once numbered into the billions, stretching from Maine to Mississippi. “The American chestnut was a very plentiful tree, especially in Pennsylvania,” said Sara Fitzsimmons, director of restoration at The American Chestnut Foundation at Penn State University. The American chestnut was known as a cradle-to-coffin tree because its rot-resistant wood served people’s needs from birth to death. It also produced healthy and tasty nuts eaten by humans and their animals as well as by wildlife. Then a blight, first officially identified in 1904 in the Bronx Zoo, struck American chestnut trees. They never recovered and are now considered to be “functionally extinct.” New trees sprout, but most don’t live that long. A few old “survivors,” often scarred by the blight, are known to be out there, including in Erie County. And now the American chestnut is facing another challenge, identified by a Penn State Behrend student at a research site in North East Township…

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Harrisburg Patriot-News, November 17, 2021: More trees, higher prices anticipated at the world’s largest Christmas tree auction in Pa.

What is billed as the world’s largest Christmas tree auction will have more trees, more first-time buyers and higher prices this year, says the person who runs it. Neil Courtney, manager of the Buffalo Valley Produce Auction near Mifflinburg, said Tuesday approximately 50,000 Christmas trees will be sold to wholesalers beginning at 8 a.m. Friday. The average lot size for standard-sized trees is 50. Large trees and exotic varieties typically are in smaller lots. Approximately 40,000 wreaths, 8,000 rolls of roping, center pieces, winter berries, bulk greens and other holiday decorations will go on the auction block at 9 a.m. Thursday. The baled Frasers fits, Douglas firs, blue spruces, white pines and other species are from growers throughout the East Coast, from Canada to North Carolina, Courtney said. There were no trees from Canada last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, he said. “I think we will have a huge sale,” Courtney said. It was a good growing season and the quality appears good, he said. ” He anticipates more than 100 first-time buyers. They are being required to provide credit information in advance, he said…

Pensacola, Florida, News-Journal, November 16, 2021: Judge ends order sparing 16 trees near Pensacola heritage oak, clearing way for their removal

The months-long legal battle revolving around an Escambia County heritage tree and its 16 neighboring protected trees could be drawing to a close. An Escambia County Circuit Court judge recently dissolved a temporary emergency injunction that had been protecting the 16 other trees from also being cut down. Judge Jan Shackelford signed an order Monday ending the injunction, which allows the owners of A+ Mini-Storage — W.M. Bell Co. of Santa Rosa County LLC — to proceed with developing plans to expand their mini storage business on land that houses the trees. The owners of A+ Mini-Storage did not respond to requests for comments made through the company’s attorney, Brian Hoffman. Hoffman himself declined to comment for this article. Attorney Will Dunaway, who filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of Emerald Coastkeeper Inc. to stop future development from endangering the trees, also did not respond to the News Journal’s request for comment. Emerald Coastkeeper Executive Director Laurie Murphy also could not be reached for comment. Earlier this year, environmental advocates launched a legal battle to save a large heritage tree on a plot of land that neighbors A+ Mini-Storage at 6155 N. Palafox St. The live oak, whose diameter was 85 inches, was classified as a “heritage tree,” meaning there are higher fees and mitigation requirements to remote it. Heritage trees must have a diameter larger than 60 inches…

Phys.org, November 15, 2021: Trees on the move: Researchers reveal how wildfire accelerates forest changes

Refugees are on the move in forests across the western U.S. As climate conditions change, the ranges of tree species are shifting, especially toward cooler or wetter sites. A new Stanford analysis provides some of the first empirical evidence that wildfire is accelerating this process, likely by reducing competition from established species. The study, published Nov. 15 in Nature Communications, raises questions about how to manage land in an era of shifting ecosystems—a key issue as President Biden prepares to sign into law an infrastructure bill that allocates more than $5 billion for forest restoration and wildfire risk reduction. “Complex, interdependent forces are shaping the future of our forests,” said study lead author Avery Hill, a graduate student in biology at Stanford’s School of Humanities & Sciences. “We leveraged an immense amount of ecological data in the hopes of contributing to a growing body of work aimed at managing these ecosystem transitions.” As the climate changes, animal and plant species are shifting their ranges toward conditions suitable for their growth and reproduction. Past research has shown that plant ranges are shifting to higher, cooler elevations at an average rate of almost five feet per year. In many studies, these range shifts lag behind the rate of climate change, suggesting that some species may become stranded in unsuitable habitats. The factors that impact plant species’ ability to keep up with climate change are key to maintaining healthy populations of the dominant trees in western forests, yet have remained largely mysterious…

New York City, The New York Times, November 17, 2021: From Electric Bikes to ‘Tree Equity,’ Biden’s Social Policy Bill Funds Niche Items

It includes a $4.1 billion tax break for people who buy electric bicycles, $2.5 billion for “tree equity,” another $2.5 billion to help “contingency fee” lawyers recoup their expenses and a long-sought tax break for producers of sound recordings. The marquee programs within the Democrats’ social safety net and climate change bill — such as universal prekindergarten, child care subsidies and prescription drug price controls — have garnered most of the public attention. But when a nearly $2 trillion piece of legislation moves through Congress, it affords lawmakers ample opportunity to pursue any number of niche issues — and lobbyists and industries plenty of room to notch long-sought victories tucked deep inside thousands of pages of text. That is the case with the Build Back Better Act, which could aid a wide array of special interests and Democratic allies that have waited for years for such a moment… Other provisions might suffer from their names more than their intentions. Tree planting is widely accepted as a way to absorb carbon from the atmosphere, and a provision in the climate change section of the bill to ensure that tree planting include poor neighborhoods might have escaped notice. But because Democrats used the buzz phrase “tree equity” to describe it, Senate Republicans singled out the $2.5 billion provision in a memo as one of the questionable “earmarks for Democrat interests and allies,” along with environmental justice tax credits for universities and climate justice block grants…

Reno, Nevada, University of Nevada, November 15, 2021: Research suggests some trees have potential for immortality

Large, majestic trees are iconic symbols of great age among living organisms, yet published evidence suggests that trees do not die because of genetically programmed age deterioration, but rather are killed by an external agent or a disturbance event. And, they can be a record of thousands of years of environmental change, especially in Nevada. “These ancient trees are indicative of the enduring landscapes that surround us,” Franco Biondi, a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and co-author of the paper said, “and a reminder of the value of having such long-lived organisms within them.” Biondi and co-author Gianluca Piovesan, a professor at the University of Tuscia, Italy, are both dendrochronologists, researchers who date events, environmental change and archaeological artifacts by using the characteristic patterns of annual growth rings in timber and tree trunks… In their paper about tree longevity published in the August edition of New Phytologist, as a Tansley Review, they find that the “cambium,” which is the growth tissue area between the bark and the wood, appears immune to senescence, which is defined as the intrinsic age-dependent increase in mortality or deterioration in performance under the control of an internal biological clock. Theoretically then, trees could be immortal organisms, and gene expression analyses are starting to uncover the processes that maintain a balance between growth and aging processes in old trees…

Boston, Massachusetts, WCVB-TV, November 15, 2021: 20-acre Massachusetts Christmas tree farm saved from developers

Rollie Perron has spent nearly his whole life walking the land that his parents bought almost 70 years ago. His family built a popular Christmas tree farm on the property, which has been eyed by developers for years. Rollie’s Farm is located across 20 acres along Varnum Avenue. To save the serene land from being developed, three conservation groups have come together to purchase the property. Mass Audubon, Mill City Grows and the Lowell Park and Conservation Trust will buy it for just under $4 million, to keep it as a place for walking, wildlife and agriculture. “I like the idea of it staying a farm, open space, forever,” Perron said…

Roanoke, Virginia, The Roanoke Times, November 15, 2021: They fought city hall — and a tree in Highland Park won

Usually, the downtown holiday icon is donated by a generous citizen, and the switch for its decorations gets flipped as part of the Dickens of a Christmas celebration. But so far this year, nobody has offered an appropriate Christmas tree, said Michael Clark, the city’s director of Parks and Recreation. That’s OK, too, because a farsighted former city forester prepared for exactly such a contingency about 20 years ago. Dan Henry, who’s now retired, shrewdly planted a couple of Norway spruce saplings in Highland Park just in case city hall ever found itself in a Christmas-tree-finding pinch. Apparently, though, Henry failed to anticipate that as the planted spruce inched skyward over two decades, fondness for it would grow among tree-hugging residents of Roanoke’s Old Southwest neighborhood. That’s what happened. And then one day last week, a crew of city workers showed up to survey the spruce in question, which stands on the park’s Walnut Avenue side. Alert neighbors quickly learned the tree would be sacrificed for the holiday season. From there, word spread like a pine needles in a stiff wind…

San Diego, California, KNSD-TV, November 15, 2021: Is OB Still Ocean Beach If They Cut Down the Palm Trees?

San Diego’s famous chill-vibe beach community Ocean Beach is a laid-back affair, in most cases. Unless, of course, you come for their palm trees. Then things get litigious. The streets at the northern edge of Point Loma were laid out back in 1887, according to the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association, but the community did not really take off till the teens, when the famous Wonderland beach-front amusement park opened. Sometime in the ’20s — the NINETEEN 20s — someone took it upon themselves to plant palm trees (fan palms, according to a lawsuit filed in October by a couple of locals) on and near Newport Avenue, between Santa Barbara and Guizot streets. Ninety or so years later, John and Tracy Van de Walker in 2008 bought their home, just up the hill and steps from the beach, as the brochures say, and in 2021, those same trees are still flourishing, soaring some 60-70 feet into the air, looking almost comically thin in their reach to such heights. In early October, the Van de Walkers received a somewhat impersonal note from Ralph Redman, San Diego manager of airport planning, saying the trees were doomed and would be removed “within the next few weeks.” To be clear, the trees near the Van de Walkers home are four blocks away and about 150 feet of elevation above the heart of OB on Newport Avenue, just west of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. The trees down there are not a risk. At least not yet: “Mexican fan palms live for an average of 100 years, give or take a few years depending on the environment in which they’ve grown,” according to GardenTabs.com…

Hartford, Connecticut, Courant, November 14, 2021: Growers are warning of a Christmas tree shortage this year. Huge demand last year means fewer trees this Christmas, farmers say.

Shoppers eager to be outdoors during the pandemic last year bought so many Christmas trees that consumers now might find fewer available as the holiday approaches this year. Trees take seven to 10 years to grow to a suitable height for purchase and with so many trees sold last year, growers are already warning that Christmas trees may become the next scarce item in the supply chain. “We cut off last year after five days,” said Jon Herzig of the Herzig Family Tree Farm in Durham. “The first two weekends were so crazy.” In addition, a wet summer caused root rot on some trees, forcing producers to toss them. “With agriculture, you never know,” said Kathy Kogut, who owns Kogut’s Hemlock Hill Tree Farm in Meriden with her husband, Bill. Kogut, who also is executive director of the Connecticut Christmas Tree Growers Association, said buyers should not expect shortages. She suggested consumers prepare early by checking on availability of trees, size and other factors…

Little Rock, Arkansas, Democrat-Gazette, November 14, 2021: Fight to save trees begins at home

The word “deforestation” brings up thoughts of the Amazon River basin in Brazil or the Congo River basin in Africa. These huge tropical rainforests are sometimes called the lungs of the earth, and are extremely important. They are in grave danger. A few decades back our family went with a building team from El Dorado First Baptist Church and Three Creeks Baptist Church to central Brazil. The final leg of the journey involved flying from the town from Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, over dense rainforest to our destination. I was sitting up front near the co-pilot. I pointed toward a line of black clouds. Thunderstorms? I asked him. “Just smoke from cattle ranchers burning the forest,” he replied. That was several years back; deforestation is still taking place in Brazil. The recent United Nations Climate Change Conference in Scotland calls for that practice to be eliminated, and Brazil has agreed. However, based on the president of Brazil’s pro-clearcutting actions over several years, few expect him to hold to the agreement. Beyond tropical rainforests, deforestation is occurring in cities and towns in the Natural State. We don’t have landscaping or tree ordinances in El Dorado, so you can do just about anything with your property. Almost all of our parking lots are as blank as you can get them. Several studies compare landscaped parking lots with trees to parking lots without them; the landscaped lots had 25 percent more customers than the non-landscaped lots. Urban designer Dan Burder estimates that over its life a single downtown street tree has $90,000 in direct benefits, and on a residential street with trees, houses sell for an average of 10 percent more than those on a street without trees…

Tupelo, Mississippi, Daily Journal, November 14, 2021: Colorful leaves of maple trees shimmer in autumn landscape

With the passage of time, old friends become especially dear and are to be cherished, and for the Earth Lady and other like-minded souls, the same holds true for old trees. Through the years, these arboreal treasures have steadfastly stood sentinel over woodlands and towns. And in the fall of the year, many of these trees are ablaze with color, are worthy of a fall foliage tour, and one does not have to travel far from home. Every autumn, the Earth Lady takes circuitous drives about town to witness these trees in all of their autumnal glory, and of the many trees sporting vibrant color, the vast majority are maple trees. The most familiar maple tree is the Red Maple, Acer rubrum, which is sometimes called a Swamp Maple by locals and rightly so, for this native tree does thrive in moist woodlands and swamps. However, long ago the early pioneers, mesmerized by the beauty of this tree in the fall of the year, brought Red Maple saplings from the woods to plant on the old homestead. This maple tree proved to be most accommodating and adapted well to most home sites, grew rapidly, and even thrived in urban settings, lining neighborhood streets in cities and adorning yards in new suburbs. The Red Maple tree is one of the most prevalent trees in Eastern North America, and one of the loveliest. In very early spring, sometimes even late February, the Red Maple tree will be one of the first trees of the forest to bloom. The red flowers of this maple tree add a subtle blush to the stark woods and are a welcome harbinger of spring…

Abilene, Texas, Reporter-News, November 14, 2021: Bruce Kreitler: Plant now to give new trees a good start

While I’ve been behind on a lot of things this year (most, actually), one of the things that I don’t want to be late on is mentioning that the best time of year for planting trees, especially the larger ones, is coming up soon. These days, with the convenience that the nursery trades offer, lots of trees get planted year round, regardless of the season. However, the best time for tree planting is the fall and winter. I try to bring this up every year, but this year there are a lot of people out there who have recently lost trees and are wanting to replace them. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the recent losses (big, mature shade trees in important places), many of those people are going to want larger trees than normal. Of course, that assumes such trees are going to be available, and/or that the potential customers are going to be able to afford them. Real quick, I’m going to mention cost/availability, as it pertains to what I just brought up. Basically, the cold weather that hit homeowners also hit growers and nurseries. While this discussion certainly could be a column of its own, essentially, what we have is a very limited supply of large trees while there is also a huge demand for them…

New York City, The New York Times, November 10, 2021: Timber Poachers Set a Forest on Fire. Tree DNA Sent One to Prison

In the spring and summer of 2018, a crew of poachers had been chopping down trees by night in the Olympic National Forest in Washington State, federal prosecutors said. On Aug. 3, they came upon the wasp’s nest. It was at the base of a bigleaf maple, a species of hardwood tree with a shimmering grain that is prized for its use in violins, guitars and other musical instruments. The crew was selling bigleaf maples to a mill in Tumwater, using forged permits, prosecutors said. Logging is banned in the forest, a vast wilderness encompassing nearly a million acres. The timber poachers sprayed insecticide and most likely gasoline on the nest, and burned it, the authorities said. But they were unable to douse the fire with water bottles, so they fled, prosecutors said. The fire spread out from the forest’s Elk Lake area, near Hood Canal, burning 3,300 acres and costing about $4.2 million to contain, prosecutors said. It came to be known as the Maple Fire. On Monday, the leader of the illegal operation, Justin Andrew Wilke, 39, was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison, prosecutors said. In July, a jury had convicted Mr. Wilke of conspiracy, theft of public property and trafficking in illegally harvested timber, among other charges, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington. Notably, the jury did not convict him on charges related to the fire, even though prosecutors had argued that he was directly involved. Had it not been for a relatively new technique that used tree DNA as evidence, Mr. Wilke might not have been convicted on the other charges…

Tallahassee, Florida, Democrat, November 11, 2021: The endangered Florida Torreya tree struggles along Apalachicola ravines

Nestled in the unique and biodiverse steephead ravines along the mighty Apalachicola River, an evergreen tree found nowhere else in the world teeters on the brink of extinction. Since European colonization, Torreya taxifolia has been known by many names; Florida Torreya, stinking cedar, Florida nutmeg, polecat wood, fetid yew, and gopherwood. Many of these refer to the tree’s pungent odor when the leaves are bruised, or the wood is cut. To me, the scent is similar to the aroma of tomato plants but much more concentrated. Its Latin name honors New York botanist John Torrey, who first acknowledged it as a new species based on samples sent in 1833 from Florida. At that time, Florida Torreya was a standard component of the lush and biologically rich steephead ravines found mainly on the eastern side of the Apalachicola River in the Florida Panhandle. These unusual ravines wind for miles inland from the river, eroded slowly over millions of years by the area’s unique geology. They are exceptionally steep and deep, an unexpected sight in Florida. A nearly vertical drop of up to 80 feet down is typical and will culminate in clear, cool sandy-bottom streams that flow year-round. The cool microclimate formed by the cold water and lush canopy harbor many relictual species of flora and fauna that, just like the Torreya, are not found anywhere else in the world…

Providence, Rhode Island, Journal, November 11, 2021: ‘Toilet paper rush’ for Christmas trees due to supply chain issues and increased demand

Dave Morin, owner of Arrowhead Acres in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, is expecting a “toilet paper rush” on opening day for cut-your-own Christmas trees. “I’ve hired more people than usual, to be prepared for that opening day crush,” he said. A past president of the Massachusetts Christmas Tree Association who still runs the organization’s communications, Morin said the rumors are circulating widely that trees are in short supply this year. Taking front and center stage as consumers start shopping for the holiday season are product shortages and supply chain issues worldwide. The same will ring true for Christmas trees this year, both live and artificial. Consumers are encouraged to buy their trees early, and be prepared to pay a heftier price – due to a combination of supply chain issues, pandemic demand and a year of extreme weather events. The push to buy early, though, could result in a flood of demand all at once. “In 2021, we’re seeing a variety of trends influencing artificial and live Christmas tree supply across the country, and are encouraging consumers to find their tree early this year to avoid shortage impacts,” said Jami Warner, executive director of the American Christmas Tree Association, in a statement. “If I can give one piece of advice to consumers right now, it is to find and buy your Christmas tree early…”

Fresh Fruit Portal, November 12, 2021: Backyard gardener claims world record for tree bearing 10 different fruits

Out the back of a suburban home on a leafy Australian street, a humble tree bearing 10 different fruits has just claimed a Guinness world record for most types of fruit on a single tree. The tree is the result of a decade of Hussam Saraf’s hard work, transforming his modest stretch of grass in regional Victoria into a tropical oasis bearing rare fruit trees and edible natives, The Guardian reports. “The previous record was five fruits grafted onto one tree, so I decided to graft 10,” Hussam said. “But I was waiting to hear back and they told me my application was rejected, because they needed five different species, not varieties.” The previous record of five grafted fruits – apricot, cherry, nectarine, plum and peach – had been held by Luis H Carrasco of Chile for two decades. Hussam’s initial application, for grafting white and yellow nectarines, white and yellow peaches, blood and yellow plums, peachcots, apricots, almonds and cherries was deemed to only represent five types of fruit, placing him at a tie with Carrasco…

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, November 9, 2021: Nobody is planting a tree if you share a pet picture on Instagram. Here’s why

You may have noticed people posting pictures of their dogs or cats on their Instagram stories as part of a recent campaign promising to plant trees for every picture posted. You may have even posted one yourself. More than four million people have added pictures of their pets to their Instagram stories as part of a social media campaign that used a new Add Yours sticker feature released by Instagram last week. The sticker created by the Instagram account behind the campaign claims “We’ll plant 1 tree for every pet picture.” But who is the “we” behind the post and is anyone planting millions of trees? The answer is complicated. Instagram debuted a new feature earlier this month, a sticker it said could be used to create public threads in Instagram Stories, another feature that allows users to share content. Since the Add Yours sticker feature went live last Monday, an Instagram page belonging to an organization called Plant A Tree Co. created a sticker and began using it for a campaign that promised to plant a tree for every pet photo users shared. The campaign quickly blew up and millions of people, including celebrities like actresses Sarah Hyland and Lili Reinhart, got in on the trend, using the sticker and sharing photos of their pets…

Sacramento, California, KOVR-TV, November 9, 2021: Tree Trimmer’s Arm Nearly Severed in Chainsaw Accident, Then Climbs Down Tree Himself

He performed his own one-armed rescue, after a chainsaw accident in a tree left his other arm almost completely severed. Now a tree trimmer is recovering in the hospital after the job went horribly wrong in Citrus Heights. Neighbors Kevin and Sharon White described the gutsy moves they watched of the tree trimmer in trouble. They saw one of his colleagues climb up and give him a tourniquet after an accident left one of his arms nearly severed by his own chainsaw. “The other guy was just getting to him,” Kevin White said,” the neighbor said, ‘he’s gonna try to tie off,’ give him a tourniquet of some sort and I just saw the motion through the branches.” “And then next thing we know we saw him lowering himself, you know, I can’t imagine doing it one-handed.” Dispatch audio describes Sac Metro Fire crews responding to the 911 calls for help with a ladder truck preparing for an aerial rescue…

New York City, WNBC-TV, November 9, 2021: 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Is Getting Cut on Thursday

The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be cut down Thursday before it heads to New York City. This year’s iconic tree won’t come from New York, or New Jersey, or Pennsylvania like it usually does — the 79-foot tall Norway Spruce was donated by a family in Elkton, Maryland. The head gardener at Rockefeller Center and the family will be present for the chop on Thursday morning. The big news for the small town had been kept secret for weeks, and the tree has been under the watchful eye of local authorities ever since it was picked to become one of the most famous trees in the world. “I found out about the tree from our lovely sheriff, who has been guarding the tree and making sure it is safe, and nothing happens to it,” Cecil County Executive Danielle Hornberger said. The giant spruce will be gingerly loaded onto a flatbed truck for its 145-mile journey from just over the western border of Delaware and arrive at Rockefeller Center on Saturday. After its trek, the tree will be dressed with more than 50,000 LED lights and topped with a Swarovski crystal star…

Monroe, Michigan, The Monroe News, November 9, 2021: DTE to use $70M voluntary refund on tree trimming

Michigan’s Public Service Commission has approved an accounting measure that allows DTE Electric Co. to provide a one-time, $70 million voluntary refund to be spent on tree trimming. The tree trimming is part of the company’s efforts to boost system reliability after power outages during severe storms across southeastern Michigan, according to the commission. DTE Electric had requested approval of a one-time regulatory liability and accounting authority to use a portion of unexpectedly higher profits from changed electricity use patterns of its retail customers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The utility said the money would fund an additional surge in tree trimming in response to the summer’s storms. The trimming is expected to take place during the remainder of 2021 through 2023…

New York City, The Wall Street Journal, November 5, 2021: One of America’s Toughest CEO Jobs: Fixing PG&E

As a California wildfire was exploding in July to become the state’s second-largest ever, Patti Poppe made an executive decision. The chief executive of PG&E Corp. traveled to the town of Chico, in fire-ravaged Butte County, and declared that the utility would spend as much as $20 billion to bury 10,000 miles of power lines like the one that had likely sparked the fire burning out of control just miles away. The decision left PG&E’s board of directors reeling, according to people familiar with the matter: The company had scarcely fleshed out the details of the proposal, or how to pay for it. Ms. Poppe had surprised the board the night before with her plan to publicize it anyway. The announcement amounted to a Herculean promise to substantially reduce wildfire risk by safeguarding electric lines from making contact with trees. No U.S. utility has ever attempted such a feat, in part because of cost and engineering hurdles. PG&E itself had earlier called undergrounding, as the practice is known, prohibitively expensive…

Savannah, Georgia, Morning News, November 9, 2021: Savannah’s iconic live oak trees are dying. Act now to shore up our tree canopy.

Savannah has suffered a spate of live oak tree failures in the last few months. From a large limb dropping onto State Street to an enormous live oak splitting in Calhoun Square, our stately old trees are showing signs of decline. In fact, the tree in Calhoun Square could not be saved and was recently removed. It can be shocking and even painful to see these iconic trees removed, leaving large gaps in our lush tree canopy. Their removal often leads to public outcry. What is happening to our trees? What can we do to save them? We are seeing a normal part of the life cycle of any forest. Our forest just happens to be in the middle of a city. Trees are living structures and cannot survive forever, even in ideal habitats. And urban streets are not live oaks’ ideal habitats. Though live oaks can live for hundreds of years in more natural areas, we can expect our downtown trees to live closer to the 150-year mark. That’s the root of the problem…

Reader’s Digest, November 9, 2021: If You See Paint on Trees, This Is What It Means

Seeing blue dots, red Xs, orange circles, and purple bands on trees and wondering what they mean? Here’s what we found out about those painted trees. Whether you’re walking along a city sidewalk or hiking deep in the forest, you might occasionally notice paint marks on tree trunks (or even a metal band once in a while). Those paint marks are codes used by forestry workers and contractors to pass along a range of messages, from which trees to chop down to which ones need treatment for disease. All cities have codes for marking trees. Here we’ll use Boulder, Colorado, as an example. In Boulder, when you see a dot at the base of the tree, that signifies it needs treatment for emerald ash borer, elm scale, or drippy blight. Paint dots at head height mean the tree needs pruning. “Basically, it marks the tree in an inconspicuous way,” says Ken Fisher, assistant forester for the Boulder Parks and Recreation Department. “A lot of people don’t even notice it, but it alerts our contractor that this is the tree we’re talking about. We’ve been using paint dots for 25 years or so now, so some trees have several paint dots on them.” Pruning and treatment dots also give a heads-up to property owners near the trees. This way, when the city notifies them of an upcoming pruning or treatment, they know which trees will be affected…

Amarillo, Texas, Globe-News, November 7, 2021: Selecting and planting trees (Part 2)

The planting hole is key. Dig it at least twice as wide as the existing root ball. The larger, the better. The length of time it takes to get the tree established and growing rapidly is directly related to how quickly the tree grows its roots. If the hole is larger than the root ball, the roots will have a better area to grow into. Putting a root ball into a hole the same size creates a “pot” in the ground that may keep roots confined or circling at worst or make it more difficult and time consuming for them to spread into new ground at best. Dig the hole no deeper than the root ball to prevent the tree from sinking into loose soil below the root ball. When planted, the root flare (where the roots flare out at the base of the tree trunk) must be above ground, not under the soil. Trees planted too deeply have a shortened life and will not perform up to their potential…

Charlotte, North Carolina, Observer, November 7, 2021: Falling limb kills 14-year-old planting trees at park, Oregon officials say. ‘So unfair’

A 14-year-old boy planting trees at an Oregon park as part of a volunteer project died Nov. 6 after a tree limb fell on him, The Oregonian reported. Another fallen limb also killed one man and injured another at a Portland homeless camp, police reported on Twitter. The deadly incidents followed a series of rainstorms with gusty winds, KATU reported. The incident at the homeless camp near Northeast Sandy Boulevard and Northeast 118th Avenue took place about 10:45 a.m., KGW reported. An arborist called to inspect the tree from which the limb fell called it “severely deteriorated,” police wrote on Twitter. They did not provide the condition of the injured man. About 30 minutes later, a fallen limb at Thousand Acres Park in Troutdale, just outside Portland, hit and killed the 14-year-old boy, KGW reported. The boy had been planting trees at the park with Friends of Trees, The Oregonian reported. The organization’s executive director said in an email that it was “devastated” by his death…

Kitsap, Washington, Sun, November 8, 2021: Tree work in Manette sparks confrontation between developer, neighbor

Neighbors came to blows over a small grove of trees in Manette last week. The cops were called Nov. 1 after a local developer, who had hired a tree service to trim six Douglas firs near his recently built townhomes, ended up in a brief but physical confrontation with a man who lives next door. No arrests were made, and police called it a civil matter. But what led to the incident is a familiar milieu in a forested county like Kitsap, where trees and habitat are often coveted by their human neighbors. In what he described as a “moment of panic,” Gregg Louden, a recently arrived tenant in a home in the shadow of the trees, said he felt compelled to stop the trimming because he felt they had “butchered” the first in the line of six. “I’d decided, I’m not going to let them keep cutting,” said Louden, concerned about the trees’ habitat for bald eagles. Under the trees, which grow across three different properties, he argued with Clinton Bergeron, builder and owner of the Manetteview Townhomes, across a fence. The argument got so heated that when Louden jumped the fence to Bergeron’s side, the developer thought he was going to be assaulted, according to police. So Bergeron grabbed Louden and pushed him back against the fence, Louden said…

Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard, November 5, 2021: Federal judge halts roadside hazard tree removal project in Willamette National Forest

A federal judge has paused U.S. Forest Service plans for extensive roadside hazard tree-cutting in the Willamette National Forest. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane issued a preliminary injunction Friday halting plans for tree-cutting on 400 miles of roads in the Willamette National Forest. McShane said a lawsuit arguing the plan is against the law has merit and can’t begin before a court rules. The Forest Service planned to cut roadside trees likely to fall down after the 2020 Labor Day Fires, which included the 174,000-acre Holiday Farm Fire that burned through the McKenzie River Valley. The Forest Service concluded the project is under a category of road maintenance that doesn’t require an environmental study before it is conducted. The project was set to begin Sunday, Nov. 7. McShane agreed with environmental groups suing the Forest Service that a previous 9th Circuit Court case precludes road maintenance from being used as a reason not to have to conduct an environmental study on large-scale hazard tree removal projects…

Amarillo, Texas, Globe-News, October 31, 2021: Selecting and Planting Trees (Part 1)

Late fall and winter are the best times for planting trees. In anticipation of this, now is a good time to select the tree or trees that you want to plant. Since fall color is one attribute that trees may have, now is the time to look at local nursery stock to see what trees will look like as they prepare for winter. However, fall color is but one attribute from which to base the plant selection. One must consider others as well as any special conditions you have or needs that must be met. For example, you might want a windbreak and/or shade from hot the western sun to increase comfort and decrease cooling costs. Other things to consider include evergreen versus deciduous, shade, flowering, fruits and nuts, height and width, growth rate, growing environment (wet; dry; alkaline or acidic soil; clay, sandy, or loamy soil; heat and cold tolerance), and other concerns that you may have. Size and placement are often not given enough thought. Although it may look silly, a small tree may need to be planted in the middle of a large area far away from buildings, etc. The mature size must be factored in to where the tree is located so that it will fit the space and landscape, not cover part of a building or windows, or grow up into power lines, years later…

Washington, D.C., Post, November 4, 2021: The world has pledged to stop deforestation before. But trees are still disappearing at an ‘untenable rate.’

On Tuesday, more than 100 countries signed on to an ambitious plan to halt deforestation by 2030 and pledged billions of dollars to the effort. Although world leaders lauded the move, climate activists say they’ve heard that promise before and that past efforts have come up short — the world is still losing massive numbers of trees each year. “Despite ambitious political commitments to end deforestation over the past decade, we are still losing tropical primary forests at an untenable rate,” said Crystal Davis, the director of the Global Forest Watch monitoring initiative. “We are running out of time to solve this problem.” According to Global Forest Watch, the world lost 411 million hectares of forest between 2001 and 2020. That’s roughly half the size of the United States and equivalent to 10 percent of global tree cover. In 2020, the world lost a near-record 25.8 million hectares — almost double the amount in 2001. Over the past two decades, forestry has been the primary driver of tree-cover loss, followed by commodity-driven deforestation — the permanent conversion of forest for the expansion of commodities like beef, minerals, oil and gas. Trees play a critical role in absorbing carbon dioxide as they grow, thereby slowing global warming. There are a number of ways trees can disappear — from logging and wildfires to being cleared to make way for crops or livestock. But when they are cut, and are either burned or decay, they release the carbon into the atmosphere. According to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, about 23 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, forestry and other land uses…

Los Angeles, California, KTTV, November 4, 2021: Large tree falls onto cars at Greek Theatre parking lot

A giant tree fell outside a Los Angeles concert venue Wednesday evening, injuring one woman and crushing dozens of parked cars. The towering tree came down in the parking lot of the Greek Theatre at 8:08 p.m. Wednesday night, hitting about 30 cars, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. No one was in the vehicles, officials said. A 35-year-old woman suffered a non-life-threatening leg injury and was taken to the hospital, fire officials said. LAFD said the tree was 40 to 50 feet. NBC Los Angeles reported the tree was a 90-foot Aleppo Pine, citing an arborist from the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. The tree fell as a concert for Brijean and Khruangbin was ending, according to the venue’s website. “We heard it and then we saw there was a reaction — like a stretcher and lights. Everyone was like, ‘What happened?’ We didn’t know,” one concert attendee told NBC Los Angeles…

Tallahassee, Florida, Democrat, November 4, 2021: Red maple, basswood, witch hazel are on the list for Leon County’s Adopt-a-Tree program

For over 30 years, Leon County Government has been proud to support our native ecosystem through the Adopt-a-Tree Program, which provides County residents the opportunity to have a tree planted on their property for free. This year, residents who participate in the program can choose between American linden (or basswood), red maple, and witch hazel. All three are native species that put on quite a show during certain seasons. Applications are available now at LeonCountyFL.gov/AdoptATree. American linden, Tilia americana, or basswood as it is sometimes called,is a large sized shade tree that typically grows 40 to 50 feet in height but can get much taller. If the lower branches are allowed, they will gently drape toward the ground before sweeping up in a gentle curve. It is more shade tolerant than many other large trees and does well in full sun or partial shade. It is often found growing along moist stream banks but can tolerate some drought. Basswood flowers around June and has extremely fragrant cream-colored blooms that are very attractive to pollinators. A delicious honey can be made from the nectar of the flowers. A small, dry fruit is produced that goes mostly unnoticed and is not messy…

Ann Arbor, Michigan, mLive.com, November 4, 2021: Ann Arbor officials stand firm on plan to cut down hundreds of trees for luxury homes

Despite criticism from community members, Ann Arbor officials have declined to reconsider their approval of a developer’s plan to cut down hundreds of landmark trees to build a 57-home luxury subdivision. City Council voted 8-3 in favor of the controversial Concord Pines development on Earhart Road two weeks ago. This week, Council Member Jeff Hayner, D-1st Ward, urged his colleagues to reconsider the vote, but they declined. “Many of us received emails from folks asking — some even pleading — that someone who was in the affirmative on the approval of Concord Pines reconsider that, because I think a lot of people felt that they were kind of blindsided by the notion of cutting down all these trees,” Hayner said. It would be a great service to the public to reconsider the project, Hayner said…

Santa Rosa, California, Press-Democrat, November 3, 2021: Woe Tannenbaum? US Capitol Christmas tree hails from Northern California. Is that a good thing?

President Biden said Tuesday that conserving our forests is indispensable. It’s right there in the transcript from his speech to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow: “Preserving forests and other ecosystems can and should play an important role in meeting our ambitious climate goals as part of the net-zero emissions strategy we all have,” the president said. Unfortunately, the news came too late for “Sugar Bear.” Sugar Bear is an 84-foot white fir from the Six Rivers National Forest in northwest California that at the moment is lying horizontal on a flatbed trailer somewhere near Sacramento. It is at the beginning of a circuitous 3,500-mile route through the lower part of the lower 48 on a three-week journey to the nation’s capital, where, in a special ceremony on Nov. 19 on the U.S. Capitol Lawn, it will officially become “The People’s Christmas tree.” Every year the honor is bestowed upon a single tree from one of the nation’s 154 national forests. This year was California’s turn, an honor it has enjoyed four other times since House Speaker John W. McCormack kicked off the tradition in 1964…

Miami, Florida, WPLG-TV, November 3, 2021: A giant sequoia tree in Northern Michigan? Yes, and it’s not only surviving, but thriving

Dr. Bill Libby knows it’s an important tree to the world, and, given his credentials, that is really saying something.
After all, Libby is a professor emeritus of forestry and genetics at the University of California-Berkeley, who has traveled the world for decades planting forestry projects and teaching at prestigious institutions all about the subject. He is on the short list of world experts regarding sequoia and redwood trees, but there is one tree that he was in awe of when he first saw it: A giant sequoia located in Manistee, Michigan. Yes, you read that correctly: Michigan. Not exactly a place you might expect to find a sequoia. And yet, there is a thriving, giant sequoia tree located in the far north, in an area that can best be described as a frozen tundra during the winter. “Any giant sequoia surviving, and particularly any thriving, at or near the then-known edge of its potential range, provides an important data point as we consider where to possibly plant this species as climate changes,” Libby said. At its last measurement in 2016, the tree was measured at more than 100 feet tall, said David Milarch, co-founder of the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, based in Copemish, Michigan, roughly 40 minutes northeast of Manistee. The tree is perched on a cliff along Lake Michigan at the Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary, and is actually one of three sequoias there. The other two are simply smaller, and just don’t receive the same attention…

Oakland, California, East Bay Times, November 3, 2021: How to start growing fruit trees: 7 tips for beginners

When Tom Spellman began lecturing on fruit trees more than two decades ago, his audience skewed primarily older with lots of people in their 60s and 70s. In recent years, that’s started to change. Spellman, southwestern sales manager for Hickman, California-based Dave Wilson Nursery, said he’s seeing more and more people in their 20s and 30s get into gardening and fruit tree growing. They usually get into it because of some extenuating factor like the economic recession of 2008 or the coronavirus pandemic, but lots of them stick with it, he said. “All of a sudden they get to taste that first tomato and they get to eat that first peach off that tree and they’re like, ‘Hey, you know what? I can’t buy this; this is not available at the standard grocery store,’” Spellman said. Growing great fruit takes some careful planning and maintenance by home gardeners and some important steps include picking the right varieties for the area, planting them correctly and making sure that they are properly pruned and cared for throughout the season. Conditions such as climate and soil can affect the taste of fruits such as apples, and to a lesser extent stone fruit such as peaches and apricots, said Neil Collins, owner of Paso Robles-based heirloom tree nursery Trees of Antiquity…

Merced, California, Sun-Star, November 3, 2021: Your neighbor’s tree is dropping branches in your yard. Can you take legal action?

Earlier this week, The California Utility Team answered a reader question from Jorge Velasquez, of Elmhurst, who wanted to know what he can do about a neighbor’s tree that has branches overhanging into his yard. While that answer was pretty clear — you can trim overhanging tree branches or encroaching roots of a neighbor’s tree up to the property line as long as you don’t cause unreasonable damage — Velasquez had a follow up question: What can you do if tree branches start falling into your yard? To answer, the utility team talked with a real estate lawyer, Robert J. Enos, of BPE Law Group. Here’s what Enos had to say: First, you need to look at what kind of debris is falling. Your neighbor is not liable for small debris such as leaves and twigs, or in other words, anything that will inevitably fall as a natural part of a tree’s life. When larger branches fall, you need to determine what might have caused that branch to fall. If a branch fell because of an “act of god,” which includes unusually severe storms or earthquakes, your neighbor is not liable. An event like the 100-year storm that brought a downpour to Sacramento last month is a good example of something with qualifying severity…

Tampa, Florida, WFLA-TV, November 2, 2021: Tree ‘ninjas’ get the wrong house, mistakenly cut down family’s beloved oak tree

Sarah Martinez and her family woke up last month to the sound of chainsaws. They say they heard branches hit their roof and ran outside to see three men in their big oak tree, cutting it down. “I yelled for them to stop but the tree was too far gone,” Martinez said. It turns out, a neighbor was the one that hired St. Petersburg-based Tree Ninjas Tree Service to cut down a diseased tree, but workers got the wrong house and the wrong tree. Martinez said no one knocked on the door to double-check before they started cutting. Sarah Martinez and her family woke up last month to the sound of chainsaws. They say they heard branches hit their roof and ran outside to see three men in their big oak tree, cutting it down. “I yelled for them to stop but the tree was too far gone,” Martinez said. It turns out, a neighbor was the one that hired St. Petersburg-based Tree Ninjas Tree Service to cut down a diseased tree, but workers got the wrong house and the wrong tree. Martinez said no one knocked on the door to double-check before they started cutting…

Modesto, California, Bee, October 31, 2021: Modesto woman is worried after recent storms raise hazardous tree issue once again

Linda Beck has a problem hanging over her head that may sound familiar to other homeowners in Modesto. The large city-owned tree in front of her home has a heavy limb extending over the kitchen where she often sits. Beck, 73, said the silver maple tree, with a 5-foot-wide trunk, was mature when she moved into the home on Ardmor Avenue almost 50 years ago. She said the trunk is hollow in the middle and decayed. And the tree is leaning. “It is scary,” Beck said. “It would take out a quarter of my home if it fell. It’s a big tree.” In August 2018, a cracked limb fell from the same tree and smashed the roof of a caregiver’s car. Beck said a city crew came out to remove the limb and the tree was assessed at that time. But it wasn’t removed. Beck said Thursday that she had called the city forestry division every day since Oct. 20 and worried about the tree limbs overhead during the recent “bomb cyclone” that hit the West Coast and caused localized flooding across Modesto. City tree crews have been backed up with calls since the wind gusts of Oct. 11-12. Modesto Councilman Chris Ricci said city trees in established neighborhoods in his council district and elsewhere are a huge challenge. He gets two or three tree complaints from residents every day…

St. Louis, Missouri, Post-Dispatch, October 30, 2021: Fall tree color: Where to find fading autumn colors

Leaves use carbohydrates (sugars) to continually produce chlorophyll, which gives the leaves their green color. Chlorophyll absorbs the blue and orange parts of sunlight and converts them into energy for the tree. The signal for leaves to change correlates to the length of daily sunlight, not just frost or temperature. With fading daylight, the layer of cells around the leaf stem start to harden, cutting off chlorophyl. Other colors that were present in the leaf, but blocked by the green, become visible with the lack of chlorophyll…

The Edge, November 1, 2021: Sustainability: How effective is tree planting?

Tree planting is a popular activity that corporations and governments like to organise in order to reduce carbon emissions and preserve biodiversity. In fact, Malaysia’s former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin kicked off the 100 million Tree-Planting Campaign 2020-2025 last year. This activity has also been used to generate carbon credits that entities can purchase to offset or cancel out their own carbon emissions. The problem is that while planting trees is good, cutting down an old-growth forest and planting a few new trees that will take decades to mature does not exactly help mitigate climate change, especially when greenhouse gases (GHG) continue to be emitted. This issue has been highlighted by many scientists and observers, who suggest that equal focus should be given to halting deforestation and reducing GHG emissions in the first place. And if tree-planting activities to offset carbon emissions continue, being mindful of the type of trees that are planted, as well as how and where they are planted, will be critical…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2021: COP26 Leaders Agree to End Deforestation by 2030

World leaders from more than 100 countries, including the U.S., China and Brazil, agreed to a deal aimed at ending and then reversing deforestation by 2030, committing nearly $20 billion of public and private funds to protect and restore forests. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during the COP26 climate summit in Scotland on Tuesday, called the pledge a landmark agreement that includes countries accounting for 85% of the world’s forest land. But details about how such a deal, which isn’t legally binding, would be executed and policed haven’t yet been worked out. “Protecting our forests is not only the right course of action to tackle climate change but the right course for a prosperous future for us all,” Mr. Johnson said. President Biden spoke about the U.S. plan for forest preservation Tuesday morning. “Preserving forests, and other ecosystems can and should play an important role,” he said. “I’m confident we can do this. All we need to do is summon the will to do what we know is right…”

Durango, Colorado, Herald, November 1, 2021: Are these trees ‘culturally modified’ … or just bent? Depends on whom you ask.

Rooted on a former Ute encampment in the foothills of the Front Range, the piney crown of a long-lived ponderosa pine pokes nearly 100 feet into the sky. Its trunk, gnarled and knobbly with age, is hollowed at the bottom, offering what could be a narrow shelter for someone to hunt from. Higher up, there’s a peephole – just wide enough for an arrow – carved in the cinnamon-colored bark. The tree’s trunk begins to spiral near the top, marking what some believe was a high energy source, ideal for healing, along what was a heavily traveled Native American trade route. Before there were highway signs, trees served as natural signposts through the forest, marking important sites, such as water sources, sacred healing spots, hunting lookouts and birthing stations, Janet Shown, co-founder of The Association for Native American Sacred Trees and Places, said as she guided a group of curious people through the woods behind Glen Isle Resort in Bailey. People are drawn to the unusually-shaped trees, known to some as culturally-modified trees or marker trees, and the tales some say they tell, yet they are entangled in controversy. Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribal officials say no evidence of shaped trees is found in their oral traditions and some archaeologists point to nature to account for the trees’ twists and turns…

Portland, Oregon, KGW-TV, November 1, 2021: Arborists warn of ‘zombie trees’

As we get deeper into autumn, experts say trees may be at risk for losing more than just their leaves. “This year has been particularly bad with trees we normally don’t see problems with,” said Dash Schenck, certified arborist with The Davey Tree Expert Company. In just the last week, Schenck said he responded to more than a dozen calls of trees falling onto houses, garages or fences. “The lack of water we’ve got and then that heat back in the summertime really stressed the trees out… and so even in light weather like this with just a little bit of rain, the conditions are just right that trees can break or fall.” Schenck also pointed to the February ice storm that killed many trees and left others with dead and damaged branches. He said some of those trees are structurally unsound, though at first glance they may not look damaged or decayed. He calls those, “zombie trees.” “Those branches can fail and then they can hit your home or your car or the worst-case scenario, somebody being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” To help homeowners protect their trees, Schenck advises all of his clients to look up at their trees, often. “If you really look at your canopy, you might start seeing things that you just don’t see with a quick glance,” said Schenck. “You may see a dead branch or a broken branch or something hanging or that part of the tree is actually dead…”

Pensacola, Florida, News Journal, November 2, 2021: Escambia County’s largest tree comes down. Emergency injunction temporarily saves remaining trees.

After months of legal wrangling and community outcry to save Escambia County’s largest tree, property owners moved forward with cutting down the heritage tree on Saturday morning. Advocates battled to save the tree — a large live oak whose diameter was 85 inches —after the owners of the mini-storage facility where it was located wanted to cut it down to expand their business. Tree service professionals hired by the owners of A+ Mini-Storage — W. M. Bell Co. of Santa Rosa County LLC — began cutting down the tree with chainsaws Saturday morning. Attorney Will Dunaway recently filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of Emerald Coastkeeper Inc. to stop any future development from endangering the tree. When he received a text message informing him of the tree’s impending demise from a concerned onlooker Saturday, he sprang into action. He hand-delivered an emergency injunction to the worksite ordering the work to cease signed by First Circuit Chief Judge John L. Miller. It was too late to save the heritage tree, however, which was nothing but a massive stump by the time Dunaway arrived…

Columbus, Georgia, WRBL-TV, October 31, 2021: National Christmas Tree begins voyage from Pennsylvania to DC

Preparations for the Christmas season are already underway in Washington D.C. as a Christmas tree from a farm in Pennsylvania’s Snyder County began its voyage to the nation’s capital Friday morning. Darryl Bowersox grew up working on his grandfather’s farm, purchased in 1954. Decades later, he owns Hill View Christmas Tree Farm in Middleburg. “I look at this, not so much from my own standpoint, but what it means to the area,” said Bowersox. After more than three decades of growing the 28-and-a-half foot tree, Bowersox decided to donate it to the nation as the 2021 National Christmas Tree, which will be lit by President Biden. A trailer carrying the massive tree departed for Washington D.C. just after 9:00 a.m. according to Nexstar’s WBRE/WYOU. “The family and I talked it over and given the significance of the tree, what it not only means to the industry, but to the county because it is the National Christmas Tree, we decided we would donate it,” said Bowersox…

Norwalk, Connecticut, The Hour, October 28, 2021: New ordinance aims to boost tree canopy in Norwalk

The city’s new tree ordinance, approved by the Common Council on Tuesday, aims to increase Norwalk’s tree canopy and protect rare trees. The revised ordinance gives more power to the city’s tree warden and established a legacy tree program, among other new initiatives. The plan to expand the ordinance began in May and, with multiple drafts and revisions, made its way through the Common Council’s Ordinance Committee and council. Ordinance Committee Chair Lisa Shanahan and council member Tom Livingston led the charge on reforming the ordinance. “The idea for revising our tree ordinance grew out of tree summit planning meeting,” Shanahan said. “There was a clear consensus from this group that there was more that needed to be done to protect our tree canopy and to expand it for the coming years…”

Pennlive.com, October 27, 2021: Why is there purple paint on trees everywhere in Pennsylvania?

Many readers seem to be noticing something “new” on the landscape across Pennsylvania: splotches of purple on trees and fence posts. I’ve seen speculation on the reason for the purple ranging from governmental markings to some sort of treatment of spotted lanternflies. All of that is misinformation. While purple may have showed up on trees in your normal haunts, the practice has been in place since the start of 2020. Also, it has nothing to do with secret government programs or anti-invasive species efforts. The purple paint has been put there in place of “no trespassing” signs…

CNN, October 25, 2021: 10,000 trees, including giant sequoias, are a hazard and must be removed in California, park officials say

As fire crews work to contain the KNP Complex Fire that has destroyed many of California’s iconic sequoia trees, it has been determined that 10,000 trees are a hazard and need to be removed. The wildfire that was sparked by lightning has been burning since early September and is only 63% contained, according to the incident report released Monday by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Fire crews have been trying to save majestic giant sequoias that are internationally recognized treasures and historic landmarks, according to the National Park Service. On Friday, the park service said reports are that 10,000 trees along the Generals Highway, the main road through the park, are considered a hazard and need to be removed. “Hazard trees — weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire — have a high probability to fail in part or whole and have the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services,” reads the park’s incident report…

San Diego, California, KGTV, October 28, 2021: Residents seek injunction over planned palm tree removal in Ocean Beach

Some residents in Ocean Beach on Thursday continued their fight to keep the City of San Diego from taking down palm trees in their neighborhood. Several palm trees along Santa Barbara Street and Newport Avenue were slated to be removed by city crews after they were deemed a potential threat to airplanes heading into and out of San Diego International Airport. According to some neighbors, city crews were in the area Wednesday morning and placed “no parking” signs along the street near the targeted trees. On Thursday morning, however, there were no signs of crews at work. “I’ve been waking up every morning, coming out and pretty much patrolling the neighborhood, to try to see if they’re going to sneak in and try to top off some of the trees before anyone is able to catch them,” one resident said. Attorney Marc Applbaum, who was hired by a group of residents as part of the effort to stop the tree removal, told ABC 10News a cease-and-desist letter was sent to airport officials, the FAA, the City of San Diego, and city arborist Brian Widener…

Beijing, China, China Daily, October 29, 2021: Trees that served as dinosaur food found in Yunnan

More than 200 Cyathea trees were found in the deep mountains of Wenquan town, in Changning county of Baoshan, Yunnan province, recently. The sight is rarely seen. The average height of the trees is 5 to 6 meters. The highest reached 14 meters, with a root diameter of 60 centimeters. It looks like a huge umbrella from a distance. Also known as a tree fern, the plant emerged on Earth about 200 to 300 million years ago. It was food for dinosaurs. Scientists call it a “living fossil”…

Denver, Colorado, Rocky Mountain News, October 29, 2021: Small native tree is notable for its ‘wings’

Winter is still a long way off, but the leaves have been falling for several weeks now. Won’t be long before sweaters and jackets will be part of the morning routine, along with a steaming bowl of nice hot oatmeal — butter and brown sugar, please. Autumn and the resultant winter seasons offer plenty of lessons from the world of botany. In general, plants respond to quite a number of environmental “signals” throughout the year. During the autumn, it’s the accumulated change of day length which has many effects on plants — and of course, it’s cooling down. Most plants have already begun a sort of slide into a quiescent period — not exactly “hibernation” but similar. There are various ways of seeing these effects exhibited by the plants around us. For example, many woody species (trees and shrubs) are deciduous and they lose all their leaves regularly. Evergreen species such as Southern magnolia and American holly do not fall into this plan…

Greenville, South Carolina, WYFF-TV, October 28, 2021: How weather affects fall colors on trees

Scott Carlson, speaking on behalf of TreesUpstate, explains how weather impacts fall foliage and when the area can expect the leaves to reach peak. Peak in the Upstate is running a little later than usual this year, but give it another one to two weeks — early-to-mid November — and those vibrant colors should be funneling into the area. Ideal conditions for the beautiful colors of fall stem back to much earlier in the year. Those conditions include a nice, wet spring; a favorable, mild summer without too many hot or dry days; and what really kicks the colors into full swing are the number of days where people wake up to temperatures in the 40s, then the sunshine warms up the area into the 70s…

BestLife, October 27, 2021: If You See a Tree That Looks Like This, Call Officials Immediately

We don’t like to think about it, but our yards are full of things that can harm us. Maybe it’s a snake hidingalongside your garden hose, or a venomous spider just waiting to bite. But it could also be something as unassuming as a tree. Over past year, a number of experts have issued warnings about one kind of tree in particular, which could be a serious potential danger to you or someone else. Read on to find out what tree you should be keeping an eye out for. Recently, experts have been warning people to watch out for trees that may look alive, but are actually decaying or dying on the inside. These aptly named “zombie” trees could become dangerous to both you and your property, as their weakened state may cause them to fall unexpectedly. “They’re trees that are dead and just don’t know it yet,” Matt Petty, an arborist who works with the Davey Tree Expert Company, told the Houston Chronicle. “They’re in decline with crippling health or safety issues that are not visible to the untrained eye…”

San Diego, California, Union-Tribune, October 27, 2021: Poway moving ahead to remove unhealthy trees on Espola and Twin Peaks roads

Poway has started the second phase of a three-year project to remove unhealthy trees from key fire evacuation routes, city officials said. This phase includes securing environmental permits for the project, which is mostly funded through a $1.4 million Federal Emergency Management Agency Grant that was matched by $500,000 in local funds. The goals for the project include making the evacuation routes safer in the event of a wildfire, adding to the ambience of the city and improving the overall health of the trees, officials said. “We want to protect these natural resources as well as balance public safety,” Izzy Murguia, senior management analyst with Poway Public Works, told those gathered Tuesday night at a public meeting on the tree project. The city plans to remove invasive species and diseased trees along the right of way of Espola and Twin Peaks roads, as well as an open space area of Green Valley, just west of Espola Road. The bulk of the trees will be removed from the Green Valley open space, which officials say will achieve wildfire fuel reduction. The project calls for the extrication of 1,874 trees to begin in July of 2022…

Norfolk, Virginia, Virginian-Pilot, October 27, 2021: Norfolk to require trees on all developments, part of effort to expand canopy — and absorb water

The city of Norfolk wants more trees shading bus stops, lining streets, covering your backyard. Trees are useful not only in the fight against climate change but also to weather its consequences, such as extreme heat and increased rainfall, city officials say. They clean particulate matter, support pollinators and other wildlife, reduce energy bills and add beauty. With new rules approved by City Council Tuesday, Norfolk planners hope they can eventually cover nearly a third of the city with trees. The changes incentivize builders to keep or plant trees, as well as require a certain amount depending on a development’s size. “There’s nothing about a tree that, frankly, isn’t positive,” said George Homewood, city planning director. They take in a lot of water, helping absorb extra flow that could otherwise overwhelm city infrastructure, for instance. Homewood said the goals are to keep as many trees as possible, replace ones that can’t be saved and look for areas where planting them can have the most impact, including formerly redlined areas…

Gardeningetc, October 27, 2021: The one thing you need to know about winter pruning apple trees, according to an arborist

Winter pruning apple trees is an essential task for any apple tree grower. Leave an apple tree to its own devices, and you will likely have a tangled mess of branches, and not very much fruit next year. While pruning shrubs incorrectly probably won’t kill your hedge, pruning apple trees incorrectly will very likely affect your apple harvest, so you want to make sure you’re doing it at the right time and in the right way. We’ve asked Codey Stout, a professional arborist with over 20 years’ experience and Head of Operations for TreeTriage, to name the one thing every grower should know about pruning their apple trees in winter. Here’s what he had to say. irst, however, it’s important to know when to prune your apple trees. It is very important to only prune apple trees once they are dormant – that is, after you’re done with harvesting apples and they are completely bare. Your safest bet is to wait until November, or later if fall is mild where you are, because you want to make sure you’re not pruning branches with sap running through them…

Huffington Post, October 26, 2021: Getting A Real Christmas Tree This Year? Here’s What You Should Know.

The artificial Christmas tree industry is facing challenges this holiday season due to ongoing disruptions in the global supply chain. Like many decorations and gifts, artificial trees are often imported from China, so port congestion and shipping delays are affecting timing and availability this year. As a result, experts are recommending that Americans order their fake trees as early as possible to ensure delivery in time for holiday festivities. But what about real Christmas trees? Murmurs of shortages tend to crop up year after year, but is that the case in 2021? And how do the effects of climate change and the current supply chain issues affect our ability to get one of those green centerpieces into our homes? Below, industry experts share their insights about the 2021 Christmas tree season. Lately it seems like every year there are headlines or news clips about tree lots selling out ― sparking fears of natural tree shortages around the holiday season. But there might be some misconceptions at play. “We’ve never run out of Christmas trees in the U.S.,” said Tim O’Connor, executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association. “The supply of trees has become tighter though. Previously growers had planted too many trees, and there weren’t enough buyers to purchase them all, so it was a difficult time in the industry ― everyone was selling their trees at a loss…”

Indianapolis, Indiana, WXIN-TV, October 26, 2021: Hamilton County to foot the bill after tree falls and crushes 4 parked cars

After strong winds splintered a tree and crushed four cars parked underneath it, the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners agreed to pay for the damages. “We are so grateful that no one was hurt in this incident,” said Hamilton County Commissioner Christine Altman. “The vehicles involved can be replaced or repaired. We’re just incredibly lucky this incident didn’t result in someone getting hurt.” The 86-foot tree was located on the northeast corner of the Old Courthouse Square in Noblesville. Strong winds on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 21, caused the tree to splinter and topple onto the cars parked in spaces outside the courthouse. The commissioners said the tree was certified by an arborist three years ago and deemed healthy at the time. “We did not have evidence that the tree was diseased, dying or posing any threat,” Altman said. “Even though there is a question if the County is responsible under common law for the damage caused by the fallen tree, we feel strongly that we should assume responsibility for the damage caused to the vehicles. We do not want to place additional burden on those affected and want to get them back ‘on the road’ as quickly as possible…”

Sandpoint, Idaho, Bonner County Daily Bee, October 27, 2021: What’s bugging the forests: parasites, insects, fungus and more

If you look carefully, your trees are talking to you. Trees have marks and tell signs when they are sick. Trees repair themselves when they have been damaged or are under stress. They use their sap as a barrier and where bark has been removed may turn red. Like humans they also fight fungal pathogens — Evergreens in particular when rooted in a moist environment. According to the American Phytopathological Society some fungal pathogens can be life threatening to a tree, but they can adapt to many fungal pathogens overtime. Fungi can weaken a tree against other infections. All trees make a pitch. Sometimes it forms in ball-like shapes. Survivalists have been known to use the pitch to keep fires going. According to the Idaho Forest Products Commission, even the forests get sick — except when the trees get sick, it might just be because of a real bug. Forest health problems also can be caused by parasitic plants and fungus infections, IDPC officials said on the group’s website. “Insects, fungi, and parasites are all natural parts of the forest ecosystem,” they note on the site. “And just like the bacteria in our bodies, they only become a problem when something gets out of whack…”

New York City, WCBS-TV, October 26, 2021: What’s Causing Record Flooding? Experts Say Missing, Dying Trees

As high-level rain events become more frequent, flooding events are going to become more common, and as they become more destructive and expensive, it’s going to be crucial to identify the causes of that flooding. “Missing and dying trees are one of the reasons that we’re seeing record flooding,” one expert told CBS2’s John Elliott. When a tree is healthy, it provides all kinds of benefits — it absorbs rain water, provides habitat, provides shade and it helps to clean the air. With dying trees, however, you lose all of those benefits. “This old 300-year-old oak tree is dying because the roots were completely covered with heavy clay, a process which is done over and over in our area, increasing the flooding in our area,” an expert explained. It’s a delicate balancing act between development and the environment. One new development in Scotch Plains took out about 100 trees, which led to six feet of water in the basement and three inches on the first floor during Ida in a nearby home that’s been there for 46 years…

Boston, Massachusetts, WFXT-TV, October 25, 2021: 50 years of giving back! Nova Scotia donates Boston’s 2021 Christmas tree

It’s two months until Christmas, and the kind people of Nova Scotia have selected the City of Boston’s official Christmas tree. It’s the 50th year of this great tradition – a tree to say ‘thank you’ to Boston for sending medical personnel and supplies to Nova Scotia within hours of a devastating explosion in Halifax in 1917. That explosion killed nearly 2,000 people and left thousands more injured or homeless. The first tree for Boston was donated in 1971. This year’s tree is a 60-year-old, 48-foot white spruce. It was donated by a landowner, L’Arche Cape Breton. The tree-cutting ceremony will be held on November 10 and the tree will leave Halifax on November 15 for delivery to Boston Common. “The Tree for Boston has been a symbol of appreciation, friendship and unity for 50 years,” said Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables. “We will never forget the kindness the people of Boston showed Nova Scotia following the tragedy of the Halifax Explosion…”

IPS News, October 25, 2021: Understanding The Cost Of Tree Removal: But It’s Sometimes An Unavoidable Cost

Trees are such majestic creations. They provide much environmental benefit, while also delivering grace and character to our properties. But sometimes, when they must be removed, it’s a tough decision to make – especially when a tree has been part of your life for an extended period. But, before you start asking how much does it cost to cut down a tree, stop a while to understand why you have no other option but to cut it down. That understanding might not ease the pain of losing a long-time tenant on your property. But it will help you make a rational decision to have it removed. Everyone knows of the important role that trees play in our environment. From reducing greenhouse gasses (GHGs), to cooling down the earth, and even helping with flood control and soil erosion. However, overgrown, diseased, or rotting trees are a danger, as are trees damaged by lighting or winds, and those with aggressive root systems. When faced with such situations, property owners are justified in thinking “Why not call a cheap tree cutting service near me to deal with the issue”. Why? Because those trees (1) May damage property and other nearby assets of homes and businesses; (2) Can fall and cause death or injury to people and pets; (3) Might transmit disease and pests to nearby trees and landscaping elements; or (4) typically, drastically reduce property values…

Business Insider, October 25, 2021: Updated supply information from growers of real Christmas trees

The latest outlook from the Christmas Tree Promotion Board is that despite challenges this year, if shoppers are flexible they can expect to go home with a real Christmas tree. The assessment is based on discussions in the first half of October with multiple growers in major production regions of the country. Taking into account their harvests and wholesale demand, the consensus is that although the supply has been tightened by a variety of things, including bad weather and supply chain issues, warnings of mass shortages are unwarranted. The particular effects of a tightened supply will vary by location since any given supplier may have greater or fewer options to provide any given retailer. Some consumers may not find the exact tree that they’re looking for in the exact place they look for it, but there will be trees available within shopping distance…

Phys.org, October 25, 2021: New study finds black spruce trees struggling to regenerate amid more frequent arctic fires

A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), finds that black spruce trees—a key species on the boreal landscape for millennia—are losing their resilience and capacity to regenerate in the face of warming temperatures and increasingly frequent Arctic wildfires. A continuation of this trend could result in a landscape-wide ecological shift that would have a complex and rippling impact on the region, including an acceleration in permafrost thaw, and a loss of valuable biodiversity. In boreal North America, the thick, spongy soils on which black spruce grows are made of peat moss and lichens that retain moisture very well but when they do dry out are highly flammable. Black spruce rely on fires for regeneration—their cones open up in the heat and drop seeds onto the charred organic soil—but this latest study indicates that more severe fires that burn deeper into these peat soils are leading to a short-circuit of the regeneration process…

CNN, October 24, 2021: Florida is ditching palm trees to fight the climate crisis

When you think of Florida, beaches and palm trees come to mind. But what if those palm trees were slowly replaced with other trees? That could happen over time because of climate change, and communities in South Florida are trying to save the world from the climate crisis, one tree at a time. “Palm trees do not sequester carbon at the same rate as our native canopy trees and do not provide shade, cool down streets and sidewalks to help counter the urban heat island effect that canopy trees do,” said Penni Redford, the Resilience and Climate Change Manager for West Palm Beach. With atmospheric carbon dioxide levels today higher than at any point in at least the past 800,000 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Earth needs to remove it or humans have to stop adding it. In fact, the last time carbon dioxide concentration was this high was more than 3 million years ago. Scientists are working on solutions to capture and safely contain atmospheric carbon. One approach is called “terrestrial sequestration” — which is essentially planting trees. A tree absorbs carbon during photosynthesis and stores it for the life of the tree…

National Parks Traveler, October 24, 2021: Thousands Of “Hazard Trees” In Sequoia National Park Pose Risks

Thousands of trees of all species along the Generals Highway in Sequoia National Park pose risks to park visitors and structures because of their weakened condition due to the wildfire burning through the park as well as disease and the region’s long-running drought. Exactly how many trees need to be taken down and removed, or simply trimmed to address hazardous conditions, remains to be seen. An initial estimate of 10,000 trees was made from observations along the Generals Highway from Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park down towards Lodgepole in Sequoia. “Just that section of the Generals Highway is what we’re talking about when we come up with this number of approximately 10,000 hazard trees,” Sequoia spokesperson Rebecca Patterson said Sunday during a phone call. For the rest of the highway that runs on south past the Giant Forest and down to the park’s Ash Mountain Entrance, “we don’t even have preliminary numbers for that area,” she said. While some media reports said there were 10,000 sequoia trees that were considered hazardous, Kimberly Kaschalk, a spokesperson for the massive KNP Wildfire Complex, and Patterson both clarified that a number of species were involved in the estimate…

Medford, Oregon KDRV(TV), US Capitol 2021 Christmas Tree Gets Harvested From Six Rivers National Forest

After almost a year of planning, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, an 84-foot white fir nicknamed “Sugar Bear,” will be harvested from the Six Rivers National Forest in a virtual ceremony on Oct. 24, 2021 at 10 AM. The harvest ceremony will include a blessing by the Lassic Band of Wylacki-Wintoon Family Group Inc., as well as brief remarks by USDA Forest Service leadership, local elected officials, project partners, and the yet-to-announced local youth tree lighter. The public is invited to view this significant milestone during a livestream of the ceremony available on the Six Rivers National Forest Facebook page, starting at 10 AM. https://www.facebook.com/SixRiversNF The People’s Tree will be harvested using a two-person crosscut saw, which is more eco-friendly and fire safe, as well as celebrates decades of U.S. Forest Service crosscutting tradition. It will be supported by cranes provided Mountain F Enterprises, and then transported by West Coast trucking carrier System Transport using a specially-decaled Kenworth T68O Next Generation truck. Once wrapped and secured, the People’s Tree will begin its journey from Northern California to Washington, D.C., Oct. 29. On its almost 3,500 mile journey, the tree will visit more than 20 communities* throughout California and across the United States for a series of outdoor festivities hosted by local organizations…

Digital Trends, October 24, 2021: Next-generation batteries could use material derived from trees

A team of scientists has found a way to make use of an unusual material in next-generation batteries: Wood. The team from Brown University has developed a tree-derived material to be used in solid-state batteries, which are safer and less environmentally damaging than current batteries. Current generation lithium-ion batteries, like those used in phones, computers, and electronic vehicles, use volatile liquids as electrolytes. These electrolytes conduct lithium ions between the positive and negative electrodes of a battery. Liquid electrolytes do this job well, but they are toxic and can be dangerous. If the battery experiences a short circuit, for example, the liquid can combust and the battery can catch fire. This isn’t usually a problem in everyday use, but it has led to the recall of some batteries which have been incorrectly manufactured. To make batteries safer, researchers are developing solid-state batteries, in which a solid material is used as an electrolyte instead. A solid, non-flammable material would be safer to use and potentially less environmentally damaging to produce. Most of the current research into solid electrolytes has involved ceramics, which conduct ions very well but which are brittle and can easily crack or break…

London, UK, Daily Mail, October 21, 2021: New tree disease Phytophthora pluvialis is discovered in Cornwall

A new tree disease, called Pythophthora pluvialis, has been discovered in Cornwall, as experts warn a huge rise in cheap imports are putting UK tree varieties at risk. Figures released by the government show the total value of imported trees rose from £52 million in 2016 to £100 million in 2020, a 92 per cent increase. Imports of outdoor plants, which are often alternate hosts for tree diseases, have also increased from a low point of £19 million in the 1990s to £90 million in 2020. This reliance on cheap imports is putting native varieties at ‘serious risk,’ according to the Woodland Trust, which claims it has led to at least 20 serious tree pests and diseases being inadvertently imported into the UK since 1990. The trust has called for greater investment in nurseries, to ensure there are enough home grown trees to be planted to meet carbon emission goals up to 2050…

Pensacola, Florida, News Journal, October 21, 2021: Lawsuit filed to halt removal of massive heritage tree at Pensacola mini-storage site

The next chapter in Pensacola environmental advocates’ quest to save an 85-inch diameter “heritage tree” has started. Attorney Will Dunaway filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of Emerald Coastkeeper Inc. in Escambia County Circuit Court on Tuesday opposing a county-approved order to go ahead with a construction project that would remove the massive live oak tree. The lawsuit seeks to have a judge declare that a site plan development order — previously approved by Escambia County’s Development Review Committee — is inconsistent with the county’s comprehensive plan, a document concerning construction and development regulations in the county. “In its most basic, the argument is that the comprehensive plan sets forth a clear goal of protecting protected trees and certainly that’s the highest standard for heritage trees,” Dunaway said. “The land development code that implements that has very specific provisions and criteria that must be proved in order to have an exception to that — to remove a protected tree or heritage oak. And we believe that we will be able to prove that those steps were not followed…”

San Diego, California, KFMB-TV, October 21, 2021: Sunset Cliffs residents protest in order to keep multiple palm trees from being cut down

Neighbors in Sunset Cliffs got into a heated exchange with police and an arborist on Thursday after they got word multiple palm trees were set to be cut down. The protest was successful for the neighbors as the City announced they will hold off cutting down the palm trees until further notice. A spokesperson for the city said, “There will be no tree removal today. The City is working with the Airport Authority on the next step and how to respond to community concerns.” Authorities say the issue with the trees has to do with their height and the airport’s flight path. Neighbors said that excuse didn’t make sense to them, so they sprang into action. Sunset Cliffs resident, Rebecca Erickson told News 8 that the trees are home to numerous birds and that her grandkids use them as a home base when they are playing outside. “It’s like a gut punch, and it is right in front of their house. It is something you wake up to every morning and you see every night. But you also watched the whole bird community, the life. Kids play on them, my grandson said, ‘make sure they know we play on that tree.’ That tree is our home base,” said Erickson…

Frankfort, Kentucky, State Journal, October 21, 2021: Healthy trees increase income, tourism

It is an exciting time in the City of Frankfort. Now more than ever our community needs to come together to improve the quality of life for our citizens. The City of Frankfort Parks Department houses Frankfort’s Urban Forestry Division, which maintains and improves the health and safety of all right of way and park trees. The parks staff along with local professionals are working together to improve the canopy in downtown Frankfort in order to improve the air quality and increase property value. National studies show that business districts with a healthy amount of trees increase income and tourism. This tree plan, provided and maintained complete by the city, is tentatively scheduled for the next three years increasing the canopy in most of the downtown area. If successful the hope is to improve the canopy in other areas of Frankfort…

Denver, Colorado, Post, October 20, 2021: It’s not just you. Fall colors really are exceptional in Denver this year

When Cheryl Spector goes for an afternoon walk on the tree-lined streets of her Park Hill neighborhood, she is moved by the stunning array of yellow, gold and dark crimson leaves that have made for an unusually beautiful fall color season along the Front Range. “The late afternoon sun is weaving its way in between the leaves, highlighting and illuminating the yellows, the golds, and it’s almost like shining a bright light on the reds,” said Spector, an architect. “It feels like the trees are embracing you. Not only do you have the canopy above, but the leaves that have been released and are on the ground tickle your feet as you walk through them.” Experts agree with what Spector and other tree lovers have observed anecdotally, that this is shaping up as an exceptional year for fall colors along the Front Range. They cite two reasons: good moisture when trees were leafing out in the spring — including a cool, moist June — and the mild temperatures of recent weeks…

San Jose, California, Mercury-News, October 20, 2021: Milpitas Public Works code change sparks discussion over tree damage to sewer lines

A small change to the Milpitas city code proposed by the public works department on Tuesday brought to light a larger issue facing homeowners: city trees causing damage to residential sewer lines. As it stands, a resident in Milpitas needs to clear out any backups to their sewer line that extend from their home all the way to the edge of their property. The proposal from public works would make it so residents must clear their line all the way to the main pipe, which is in the middle of the road. Public Works Director Tony Ndah said Tuesday to councilmembers that his department has faced “issues” with residents who haven’t cleared their lines all the way — and said that the language in the city code needs to be cleared up. But the code change sparked discussion over an issue Milpitas has faced for years. In 2014, Milpitas paid a homeowner $95,000 after the council determined that a sewage backup at the resident’s home was the city’s fault…

Norway, Maine, Advertiser-Democrat, October 20, 2021: Elm trees grace Main Street, Norway once again

Once upon a time, North America was home to an estimated 77 million elm trees, shading neighborhoods and inspiring street names in almost every town. Early in the 20th century the trees were attacked by an invasive beetle, believed to have originated in The Netherlands and decimating elms worldwide by mid-century. By 1989 75% of the United States’ and Canada’s elms were gone. Norway, Maine, was no exception. No one knows exactly how many elm trees grew in town before Dutch elm disease invaded but until very recently there were zero. While making plans for Maine’s bicentennial, the Norway Historical Society came up with the idea of bringing back the elms of yesteryear as part of the town’s celebration. Early in 2020, with Planning Board Chair and founding Norway Downtown board member Dennis Gray leading the way, the board of selectmen approved the plan. The project would be funded by private donations collected by Town Manager Dennis Lajole…

The New Republic, October 20, 2021: Should a Tree Be Able to Sue the State?

An otherwise quiet corner in British Columbia, Canada, has become one of the most spectacular struggles for forest preservation in North America in recent decades. For more than a year, the Rainforest Flying Squad has fought root and leaf to protect the old-growth forests on Fairy Creek. There, on southern Vancouver Island, 75 percent of trees are estimated to be more than 250 years old, and some are older than 1,000. Yet companies are allowed to log this “white rhino” of forests, as one biodiversity report termed the rare, ancient ecosystem. So 24 hours a day, volunteers guard blockades against the logging industry and the police attempting to enforce its timber rights. “What gives you the right to cut down trees older than Western society?” one of the Fairy Creek protest signs asks. It’s a prescient question. The matter of the tree’s rights—to clean air and water, to profits, and maybe to existence itself—is looking like the next frontier of global climate action. Across the United States, humans are fighting over trees. In the last month alone, East Orange, New Jersey, residents woke to the sound of more than a dozen trees being bulldozed for artificial turf athletic fields, sparking public outcry. Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Transportation began removing almost 200 trees impeding construction of a new highway, despite Austin residents’ attempts to stay the arboreal executions in court…

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, South Florida Sun Sentinel, October 20, 2021: After canker catastrophe, scientists want to bring back
Florida’s zest for citrus

Floridians still shudder at the memory. The knock on the door. The warnings to cooperate or be arrested. Then chain-saw crews destroying prized lemon and orange trees in an effort to wipe out citrus canker. And all for nothing. Despite the loss of almost 900,000 trees in residential areas, the state’s eradication program failed and was abandoned in 2006. But the bitterness lingers and the scars run deep. Despite the trauma of years past, there is a flicker of hope among researchers that any remaining citrus trees could be preserved. And, perhaps more exciting, University of Florida scientists have created a tree that they hope will be resistant to disease. ut it will be a while before you can pluck fresh citrus in your backyard. The days of plant it and forget it have gone. And no one is sure how to get the new tree to the market — or whether there is even any demand…

Lexington, Kentucky, WTVQ(TV), October 19, 2021: After emotional public outcry, KU will review tree-cutting policy

Massacred, unilateral decisions, frustrating, one size fits all, disrespectful, disgrace were just some of the emotional comments Tuesday during the Urban County Council’s three-hour discussion about Kentucky Utilities clear-cutting of trees along some power lines and plans to do more next year. Much of the impact thus far has been in the 4th and 9th districts with more planned in the 5th District. The utility says the cutting is needed to safeguard against power outages by keeping fallen limbs and trees out of those lines. Residents say it’s needless butchering that puts profits ahead of people, destroys one of the community’s greatest assets, hurts property values and worsens drainage. “It can be managed, it can be trimmed with a great deal of ease and these magnificent trees can continue to live but that’s not satisfactory with Kentucky Utilities for basically no reason at all,” said Fifth District resident Rob Walker who was the first in a string of residents who spoke…

Columbia, South Carolina, WLTX(TV), October 19, 2021: Bring out your Bradfords! Bounty on invasive pear tree can get you up to 5 new replacement trees

No one likes Bradford pear trees. Once upon a time, landscapers and homeowners planted Bradford pear trees because of the tree’s pretty spring blossoms but the pungent odor and frail trunks — the trees can easily break in a storm — have caused them to fall out of favor. Worse, according to Clemson Extension Services, Bradford pear trees contribute to the spread of one of the most invasive plant species in the Southeast, the callery pear. So, what to do? Clemson Extension has put a bounty on the Bradford pear tree. Property owners can take advantage of the bounty and exchange up to five Bradford pear trees for an equal number of young native replacement trees — for FREE — during a tree swap Saturday, Oct. 23. The event, 1-4 p.m. at Sandhill REC located at 900 Clemson Rd. in Columbia, does have some rules… Replacement trees will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last. If your preferred replacement tree is not available at time of distribution, you will be provided with a healthy alternative. Specific tree species cannot be reserved ahead of the event. Learn more about the Bradford pear and about the bounty on the trees at clemson.edu/extension/bradford-pear

Albany, Georgia, Herald, October 19, 2021: Many popular landscape trees are often short-lived

Some trees naturally live longer than others but, ironically, many of the most popular landscape trees tend to be relatively short-lived. Although their flowers are quite attractive, Bradford or Callery pears are generally considered short-lived trees, and they are also highly invasive. As a group, these flowering pears tend to have a very weak, vertical branching structure that is notorious for splitting and breaking. On average, Bradford pear trees live around 10 to 15 years, 20 with luck, and will literally begin to self-destruct when storm winds blow through. Most of the popular cultivars of Japanese flowering cherry trees (Kwanzan and Yoshino types) are also short-lived. They are grafted, which means the upper part (scion) of the tree is grown on the root system (rootstock) of a related tree. This process allows growers to replicate (clone) unique traits such as certain flower colors, weeping branches or larger flowers. These traits would not be expressed consistently if these trees were grown from seed…

Littleton, Colorado, Patch, October 18, 2021: Main Street Tree Project: Honey Locusts To Be Removed

Work on the Main Street Tree Project is set to begin Oct. 25 in Downtown Littleton. The Littleton Public Works Department aims to replace most of the Honey Locust trees inside the sidewalk grid, which were planted more than three decades ago, according to the Littleton Report. Honey Locusts have an average life of around 120 years in the wild, but only 20 years in urban environments, city officials said. Urban trees are under constant stress and they’re often surrounded by asphalt or concrete. Several trees along Main Street have already been removed. The first part of the project, which is expected to take several days, will begin Oct. 25 with crews filling empty grates with concrete, according to the Littleton Report. After the holiday season, eight trees are set for removal, some of which are almost completely dead, the city said…

Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, October 18, 2021: Woman struck by falling tree branch while hiking in Mohican State Park dies at scene

A Columbus woman is dead after a tree branch fell on her as she was hiking in Mohican State Park Sunday afternoon. The Ashland County Coroner’s Office has identified the woman as Shelley Miller, 57. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is investigating the incident. ODNR reports show officers from the state Department of Natural Resources and the Ashland County Coroner’s Office responded to the call Sunday afternoon. Miller was pronounced dead at the scene. She was hiking on the Hemlock Gorge Trail, which follows the north bank of the Clear Fork through the park, and was struck by a falling branch at about 3 p.m…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, October 18, 2021: How do trees get their fall color?

It’s fall, and there’s a nip in the air. Besides time spent on football, school activities and holidays approaching, it’s time to enjoy a little fall color from our trees before full-fledged leaf management kicks into gear and I have to continue to remind homeowners and businesses to mulch the leaves rather than send them to the landfill. What causes and controls fall color, anyway? Temperature? Soil moisture? Shorter days? Sunny days? It’s all of those factors, actually, but here’s what technically happens. Green chlorophyll is present in leaves in large quantities during the growing season. As the days shorten, chlorophyll production slows to a stop. As chlorophyll breaks down in the leaves, two compounds called anthocyanins and carotenoids take over. Carotenoids are leaf pigments responsible for yellow and orange colors. They are present in leaves during the growing season but are masked by the green chlorophyll, except in plants that are stressed or with naturally yellow leaves. Carotenoids are helpful in that they absorb wavelengths of light that chlorophyll doesn’t accept — mainly blue-green and green. They also use excess energy produced in leaves, as happens in high-light conditions. In fall, with no chlorophyll left, they can act as a sunscreen to help protect foliage…

Austin, Texas, KXAN-TV, October 18, 2021: Austin trees are going bald; UT arborist explains why autumn isn’t to blame

With autumn here, you may be looking at Central Texas’ trees a little more often than you usually do. If you’re anything like us, you may have noticed something peculiar — a bunch of trees have bald patches all over them. These bald patches aren’t because of the seasonal change, according to the University of Texas’ Urban Forestry Supervisor Jennifer Hrobar. Instead, they’re damage leftover from February winter storm. “This was a very off event in that there haven’t been any real defined patterns,” Hrobar said about some of the stranger damage she’s seen over the years. “Maybe the upper crown was sticking out more exposed to (the) winds and the cold temperatures that killed that tissue, where as the main stems were more protected,” Hrobar said. Essentially, as the temperature plummeted, the cells inside the trees froze. This meant that some limbs, but “trees don’t heal, they seal.” Instead of letting that creeping cold take their lives, the trees sealed off frozen limbs. This meant the limb died while the tree survived. “That’s called compartmentalization,” Hrobar said. Hrobar says which trees survived depended less on species and more on where the tree is located and what protection it had. “Live oaks, which we tend to think of as a very great tree for urban areas … some came through with flying colors, others we completely lost…”

Ann Arbor, Michigan, WUOM Radio, October 15, 2021: Federal court rules against tree protection ordinance

Environmentalists are concerned a federal court ruling this week could limit tree protection ordinances. The ruling by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt with landowners’ private property rights and Canton Township’s tree ordinance. The ordinance requires landowners who remove trees to plant new trees or pay into a fund to ensure there’s not a net loss of trees. Canton Township ordered a property owner who cleared more than 150 trees from his property to plant replacement trees or deposit more than $47,000 into a township tree fund. The owner sued. The court ruled the township didn’t show that it properly assessed the burden to the landowners. Sean Hammond is policy director at the Michigan Environmental Council which filed a brief supporting the ordinance. “The court basically ruled that Canton Township did not prove that it was going to benefit the city as much as it burdened the owner.” He says the ruling could affect other municipalities. “It really only impacts this one company in terms of direct scope. But, it sends a message to a lot of other places about how valid their tree ordinances are…”

Greenbiz, October 18, 2021: Wildfires redraw the landscape for corporate tree planting

… I love trees. So when wildfires rip through my home state of California or my favorite travel destinations in the Pacific Northwest or Colorado, I feel the most climate grief. Wildfire isn’t just sad for nature lovers, but it’s also a huge problem for the planet. Forests are some of our best carbon sequesters, and over the past five years hundreds of thousands of acres in the U.S. have literally gone up in smoke, pouring carbon back into the atmosphere. The only way to directly reverse the effects is to wait for new trees to take the place of the old ones. Given the greater number and intensity of wildfires that have become the norm due to climate change, coupled with insufficient forest management practices, the forests need help to regenerate. So corporations are stepping up and expanding their tree-planting budgets to address the problem, but tree-planting after a forest fire is different from traditional reforestation projects. It takes a lot of management, care and infrastructure to plant trees. Without tree planting organizations and money, usually from corporate backers, once-forested areas would turn into blank landscapes dotted with shrubs that have out-competed the trees in the wake of fire…

Concord, New Hampshire, WCNH Radio, October 17, 2021: Eversource’s main cause of power outages? Trees. The company wants the N.H. public to plant shorter ones.

Energy company Eversource is encouraging municipalities and residents to make a plan for their trees. With an arboretum in Hooksett now open to the public, the company wants Granite Staters to tour a variety of vegetation that is friendlier to power lines. For Eversource, trees are the leading cause of power outages, especially during storms. But it’s important to keep planting them, said Bob Allen, an arborist who manages vegetation maintenance efforts at Eversource. New Hampshire is the second most forested state in the country. The company says it’s planning to spend $27 million across New Hampshire for tree-trimming and removal efforts this year, covering 2,500 of the 12,000 miles of overhead lines it maintains in the state. Some in Eversource’s New England service areas have pushed back on the company’s efforts to cut down trees, saying the removal would create environmental and safety concerns, and harm property values. Allen wants to introduce residents to the diversity of tree species that can thrive in New Hampshire and encourage people to start planting…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, October 14, 2021: PG&E, East Bay parks allowed to remove trees for safety, court rules

The state Supreme Court has rejected a challenge by environmental advocates in Lafayette to an agreement by local park officials that allowed Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to remove trees near an underground gas pipeline, one of several legal disputes over parkland trees in or near the East Bay community. The East Bay Regional Park District agreed in March 2017 to let PG&E uproot 245 trees that were within 14 feet of the pipeline in Briones Regional Park and the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail, in exchange for payments of $1,000 per tree, an additional $10,000 for safety maintenance, and PG&E’s promise to plant 31 replacement trees within city borders. The utility says it has removed all but 17 of the trees, which are the subject of a separate suit by Lafayette before a federal judge who is overseeing PG&E’s bankruptcy. The fate of about 200 more trees is still unsettled, however, and the Lafayette City Council and PG&E are discussing how many need to be removed to protect the pipeline. The environmental group Save Lafayette Trees won a 2019 ruling from a state appeals court allowing it to challenge the removal of those trees. But the state’s high court refused Wednesday to take up the environmental group’s appeal of a lower-court ruling dismissing its suit over the 2017 tree-downing agreement. That ruling, now final and binding on trial courts statewide, said California law authorizes a regional park district to manage its park lands, even if its decisions conflict with environmental laws of a city or county within the district’s territory…

Phoenix, Arizona, Patch, October 14, 2021: South Phoenix Residents Seek Preservation Of Historic Palm Trees Displaced By
Light Rail

On a late summer afternoon, Victor Vidales walked along the one-acre lot of his backyard that is temporarily housing more than two dozen palm trees. Dried weeds and rocky soil crunched under his flip flops. “If these trees could talk, what would they say?” Vidales said, as the tall and thin palm trees towered over him. Vidales, a South Phoenix resident who can proudly trace back his roots to the neighborhood for generations, is temporary steward of these palm trees, some with healthy green fronds, others bare at top. “They saw all the killings, all the murders, but they also saw all the quinceañeras, all the weddings,” Vidales said, imagining the stories the trees would tell. The palm trees housed at Vidales’ property were once a landmark of south Central Avenue. The trees were planted along the median and, residents say, had been there for about 60 years. The future of the iconic trees was endangered when plans for a $1.3 billion South Central/Downtown Hub project that will bring the light rail to south Phoenix were drawn up. To make way for the light rail tracks and system, the median and the trees would be gone…

Walla Walla, Washington, Union-Bulletin, October 14, 2021: New Walla Walla tree plan calls for planting 300 trees per year

A new plan for planting and maintaining trees in Walla Walla was approved unanimously at a Wednesday, Oct. 14 City Council meeting after a long, and at times, controversial process. The plan, which calls for $315,454 over five years for planting new trees and over $2.6 million for pruning and maintenance of the city’s nearly 8,000 trees, replaces the city’s 2003 Urban Forestry Management Plan. The plan calls for the city to plant nearly 300 new trees annually, or four new trees for every tree that needs to be removed every year on average. Pruning and maintenance is more costly than planting new trees, according to city staff, hence the larger budget for the former. New tree plantings would be concentrated in the city’s West and East wards, according to city staff, which have historically not had as many plantings. Several updates were made to the plan since it was last seen by the City Council in July, including a sample five-year budget for planting and plans to encourage community buy-in, as most land in the city where trees can be planted is privately owned, according to Parks and Recreation Director Andy Coleman. These updates came after weeks of review and community input, including vocal opposition from activist group Tree People of Walla Walla, who had criticized the lack of a planting budget in the draft plan presented in July. The inclusion of this budget in the plan approved Wednesday did not assuage their concerns, said Tree People co-founder Gayle Bodorff, who called the plan inadequate…

Farm Progress, October 13, 2021: My love-hate relationship with black walnut trees

On a mid-September day, I could hear the wind howling as I tapped away on my laptop keyboard. Sitting at the kitchen table, which is next to the back door to the porch, a loud thud grabbed my attention. It was followed by two more booming thuds and then a tap on the door. I thought it was strange someone would be visiting using the back door. From the racket, I was half expecting the Jolly Green Giant. But there were no visitors, unless you count the bushy-tailed kind, standing upright balancing on his back legs while his tiny paws clutched a nut covered with a lime-green husk. The thuds were black walnuts dropping on the porch from several of the 60-foot-plus-tall walnut trees in my backyard. One rolled to the door mimicking a knock. It’s been a banner year for walnuts. Some say that’s a sign of a long, cold winter ahead. I think it has more to do with the cycling of the tree, but believe what you will. Like a lot of people, I have a love-hate relationship with black walnut trees. In the summer — there’s more than a dozen in my yard — they provide great shade, and in the fall the leaves turn golden. But black walnut trees are very selfish. The roots, which may extend 50 feet or more from the trunk, exude a natural herbicide known as juglone, which is also found in the tree’s leaves and husks…

San Antonio, Texas, KSAT-TV, October 14, 2021: General Sherman tree still standing, but it’s not out of the figurative woods yet, as California wildfires rage on

General Sherman is still standing, but it’s not out of the figurative woods just yet, as it still towers in one of the county’s most famous stretch of woods. The biggest and most famous of all the sequoia trees in California’s Sequoia National Park, General Sherman, has yet to be affected by the surrounding wildfires plaguing the area and destroying other trees and acreage. There are concerns it might, given the tree’s base was wrapped in aluminum-based, burn-resistant material back in September. At 275 feet tall and more than 36 feet in diameter at its base, General Sherman is larger than the Statue of Liberty. It is estimated to be more than 2,000 years old, and was named after Civil War General William Sherman. Ever since lightning ignited the KNP Complex fires on Sept. 9, there have been more than 184,000 acres and at least 26 groves of giant sequoias that have been charred, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times…

San Jose, California, Mercury News, October 13, 2021: Why PG&E’s wildfire safety triggers are sparking controversy instead of deadly blazes

During this tinder-dry wildfire season, a change to Pacific Gas & Electric’s power lines has dramatically reduced the risk of sparking calamitous and killer blazes. But every time a rogue squirrel gets zapped, hundreds of rural residents are suddenly plunged into darkness – for hours, sometimes days. Computer screens go blank. Stoves don’t work. WiFi goes dead. Refrigerators stop cooling. “It’s like camping,” said Barbara Melchin, a 71-year-old widow who was forced to haul water in buckets during one recent outage in the Santa Cruz Mountains, because her well quit working. “Life is controlled by this thought: ‘Am I going to have power?’ These unplanned outages are different than the now-familiar Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPSs), like the one Monday that pre-emptively shut off power for 24,000 customers in 23 counties because of windy weather and high fire risks. In contrast, the new shutoffs are spontaneous and surprising, often on calm days…

South Bend, Indiana, WBND-TV, October 13, 2021: Tree removal companies busy after Monday’s severe weather

The cleanup continues two days after storms slammed Michiana. Torrential downpours and severe wind gusts sent many trees toppling. Tree removal crews were at a house in Granger Wednesday afternoon, armed with chainsaws, cranes, and woodchippers. A large tree crashed through the roof of a garage on Monday and needed to be cleared. The damage was caused by the combo of wet ground and strong winds. However, Michiana’s lack of fall weather so far means that most of the leaves are still on the trees. This can weigh things down and making it easier for trees to fall during storms, according to experts. “When there are leaves on the trees and they are wet, it’s like a sailboat,” Walt Temple, owner of Temple Tree Service explained. “The wind will catch onto those leaves and will add stress. If the tree is sitting in an area where the root-ball, the ground is so wet and you get that kind of leverage, it’ll tip right over, which is what we had here…”

South Windsor, Connecticut, Patch, October 13, 2021: Good Deed Shows No Tree Is Too Big For South Windsor Arborists

A South Windsor-based tree contractor had a chance to show off just what a new piece of equipment could do recently while also performing a good deed. Jason Yerke, a Vernon native and the owner of Distinctive Tree Care in South Windsor, recently purchased a new piece of equipment to take down dead and dying trees along roads and highways. He was looking for a place to get his crews practice time on the machine. Yerke and his company do a lot of work for the state Department of Transportation and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection removing dead and dying trees from along state highways and from state parks. The machines Jason has purchased enable his crews to do in a day what a traditional tree crew, using a bucket truck, would take weeks to achieve. The new one takes it to a new level…

Washington, Missouri, eMissourian.com, October 13, 2021: ‘Resilient’ trees taking root at Marthasville trailhead

A 200-yard stretch of the 240-mile Katy Trail got a bit nicer Saturday. Around 20 people, working with nonprofits Forest ReLeaf of Missouri and Magnificent Missouri along with the Missouri Parks Department, planted 65 trees along the trail near its trailhead in Marthasville. The trees included Kentucky coffeetrees, hackberries and a variety of oaks. The project, which started in March with a planting a few miles away in Dutzow, is part of a three-year quest to plant 300 trees on the trail using a $28,000 annual grant from the Robert J. Trulaske Jr. Family Foundation. “We’ve been scrambling to get it all done,” Meridith Perkins, executive director of Forest ReLeaf, said about three hours into Saturday’s planting. The groups plan to plant another 100 trees next year, starting in the spring. The grant also includes money for staff time…

Honolulu, Hawaii, KHON-TV, October 12, 2021: Christmas without a Christmas tree? Experts urging consumers to buy earlier due to possible shortages

Extreme weather along the west coast, including fires and heat waves, have impacted Christmas tree crop. Some Oregon farmers have lost up to 90% of their trees this summer, and a few local carriers rely on those farms and are pivoting to be able to provide this Christmas. Habilitat is already making adjustments to its Christmas tree order. “There was some damage created by the high heat that happened this year, especially some of the grand furs are going to be in short supply and some of the noble furs might be a little bit smaller than people are used to seeing,” said Becky Harrison, Habilitat marketing director. The nonprofit organization is still expecting to bring in 5,000 trees for its annual sale. Meanwhile, Paula Tajiri, owner of Christmas Hawaii, is relieved after checking on her crop in Washington. “Luckily our contracted farm has little damage so it didn’t really affect us too much,” said Tajiri. For local growers like Hamakua Christmas Tree Forest on Hawaii Island, they’re already selling to accommodate the impacts from mainland farms. “You can tag a tree, you can pay for it and put a tag on it, and then come back and get it in a month or so when you actually want it,” said Richard Bradwell, owner of Hamakua Christmas Tree Forest. “That way you can guarantee getting a tree without having to worry about it later. That seems to be where everybody’s worried about, that the trees wouldn’t be available…”

Denver, Colorado, Colorado Sun, October 13, 2021: Trout (and anglers) love Colorado’s Dream Stream — and transported trees could keep it thriving

On a brilliant October late afternoon, Jerry Backes casts a long shadow into the steady current of the South Platte River, in roughly the same direction he casts a fly to entice the teeming life below. The water carries his line for a few seconds but soon snags on vegetation coursing downstream. But for Backes, a 68-year-old retired electrical engineer from Missouri who ventures to Colorado a couple of times each year to experience what anglers call the Dream Stream, hope resides in the next cast. And soon he’ll feel the telltale tug that reminds him why he came here. “It’s a good time every time I come out,” he says. Situated at 8,700-feet elevation in one of the largest plateau basins in North America, cradled by hills with snow-dusted peaks in the distance, this stretch of the South Platte owes its reputation to a combination of circumstances that create ideal habitat for fish — largely brown and rainbow trout but also species like kokanee salmon. They not only breed in sustainable numbers but also live long and grow to eye-popping sizes…

The Architectural Review, October 13, 2021: Urban lumber: timelines of street trees

In cities across the United States and the world, street trees have, for centuries, been a crucial agent of urban beautification and identity. These trees have offered their own kind of spatial definition, extending the sense of enclosure and protection offered by buildings into spaces of public movement, rest and gathering. They define edges of urban thoroughfares, implying tunnels or partitions with their regularly spaced trunks. They form rooms and halls in the city, creating a verdant commons. Street trees make space and take up space through their physical form, but they also create dappled shade – extending Lisa Heschong’s enduring call for attention to ‘thermal delight’ in architecture, proposing an enhanced attention to the range of thermal experience offered by the built environment to the outdoors. Simultaneously, at the ends of their lives, these urban space- and shade-makers have frequently been unceremoniously chopped, chipped and hauled away. Their wood is often gnarly and wildly figured, and is commonly of unfamiliar species (in the context of lumber, not trees) that would confound all but the most versatile artisans and craftworkers. Over the past century and a half, street trees in many major cities have had to become resilient on terms that are very specific to the ways that the underground and overhead space of the street itself has modernized…

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, News & Guide, October 12, 2021: My failed, transformational fight for whitebark pine

At 3:45 a.m. I climb on my bike at the Elkhart Park trailhead, one of the many gateways into Wyoming’s mighty Wind River Range, and ride away from the mountains. I’m not entering the Winds here. Instead, I’ll pedal 65 miles to the Green River Lakes trailhead, then walk, climb and swim through the Winds until I’m back at Elkhart Park. Yes, swim. This is my third attempt at the Winds Picnic, a ludicrous adventure I’ve created that entails swimming five lakes on the way to the top of Gannett Peak, Wyoming’s highest point, then swimming five lakes on the way down, and linking both ends of this watery alpine traverse with a bike ride… This will be the adventure of my life, so far. But why? For the experience, the challenge, and to assuage the demons remaining from my brief time leading a small nonprofit advocacy group that championed a species of high-elevation pine tree. I founded TreeFight in 2009 to bring awareness to the devastation pine beetles caused whitebark pine due to the effects of climate change. After years of not noticing these distinctive, candelabra-shaped pines while skiing and climbing, I learned of this cataclysm to their numbers (50% of mature whitebark would eventually die in a five-year period) and was floored by what we were losing…

Phys.org, October 11, 2021: Moose appetite for deciduous trees counteracts warming effects

Fast-growing deciduous trees can respond more quickly to a warmer climate than conifers, so climate change will influence the composition of forests through increased deciduous tree growth. But deciduous species are also the most vulnerable to browsing. “We studied how moose modify the climatic effect on boreal trees on two continents,” says biologist Katariina Vuorinen, who defended her dissertation earlier this year. Vuorinen took her doctorate at NTNU, focusing on herbivore browsing in 47 demarcated sites in Norway and 15 sites in Canada. Many assistants supported her in taking the annual spring measurements in the relevant areas. Vegetation growth in fenced areas where moose were excluded was compared with the surrounding vegetation. The researcher modeled causal relationships that took into account different climatic factors, various tree species, competition between tree species, tree height, time, food availability and presence of herbivores as well as browsing intensity.Moose browsing led to less growth in rowan and birch trees in Canada and in birch and pine in Norway. In Canada, rowan grew 12 cm less and birch 13 cm less than in the fenced-in plots. In Norway, birch grew 8 cm less and pine 3 cm less than in similar exclusion plots. Vuorinen concluded that moose browsing counteracts the effect of a warmer climate on forest growth. But her research also shows that the foraging impact varies depending on other factors in each ecosystem, such as snow, which protected the trees from browsing moose…

Hyperallergic, October 10, 2021: Mourning a Tree That Has Lain Down

The story behind the piece “Fallen” (2021) by Jean Shin is that a hemlock tree, now horizontal, cut from its roots, and suspended above the ground by two boulders, was going to die anyway. The groundskeeping team at the Olana State Historic Site couldn’t heal it. Because of the tree’s size it was feared that in the upcoming winter storms it might fall and damage the nearby main house. Shin determined to commemorate this one death that stands in for many. The ongoing pandemic has felled hundreds of thousands of people, their lungs ravaged by a virus they couldn’t see, borne on the air we must breathe. Many of these people (including my grandfather) were buried hurriedly, without the presence of family to wave them on with loving rituals from this shore to the next. They did not have the benefit of being properly mourned, held, and released. So Shin gave this ritual gentleness to a tree. She coordinated with the state’s parks department to salvage the trunk and bark after they had cut it down. Working with William Coleman, the director of collections and exhibitions, Shin reenacted the stripping of the bark and then, using leather (which they term “dead stock”) sourced from fashion houses and the upholstery industry, she clothed it in that animal skin riveted together to form a funeral shroud…”

Albany, New York, Times Union, October 11, 2021: Watervliet launches program for public support to plant trees

The city owns 3,400 trees and is pushing its new Memorial Tree Program to let residents sponsor a tree in an attempt to create a sustaining effort to plant more trees on municipal property. All a person has to do is write the city a check for $150 to claim sponsorship for a tree, which will be numbered and include a small plaque with the name of the person for whom the tree is dedicated. “This way we’ll raise more money for more trees. It won’t cost the taxpayers anything,” said Bill Fahr, a member of the Watervliet Tree Committee. The flowering trees help brighten up the city when they bloom in the spring and when their leaves change colors in the fall. Crabapple, Callery pear and cherry trees are some of the types planted by the city, said Dan McGrath, an arborist and chairman of the Watervliet Tree Committee. “We try to go with the small trees,” McGrath said pointing out the difference between the trees considered appropriate for planting in street rights-of-way so they fit into the urban landscape and larger maple trees found in residential backyards which are bigger…

Palm Beach, Florida, Post, October 11, 2021: West Palm’s tree survey: It’s time to start planting more shade trees to combat climate change

A tally of West Palm Beach’s trees is underway, with a surveyor documenting the species, size and health of every shade-maker in neighborhood rights-of-way and medians. The count is part of the city’s effort to fight climate change and work toward its goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That means encouraging people to walk or bike instead of drive, and to do that in South Florida shade is a necessity. “You don’t want to be biking or walking in the full sunshine, and because of climate change we are having more and more days that are hotter and hotter,” said Penni Redford, West Palm Beach’s resilience and climate change manager. “We have a focus on trees as a city and you can’t really manage and improve something that you don’t have a good metric on.” Palm Beach County’s average daily temperature has increased nearly 4 degrees since 1900, from 73 degrees to 2020’s average of 76.9, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information…

Washington, D.C., The Hill, October 7, 2021: Who is going to plant all those trees? Thune’s
bill addresses multi-year tree planting backlog

Trees have been getting a lot of attention as a natural carbon storage solution, and rightfully so. Trees are truly amazing; they act as sponges pulling in carbon dioxide from the air, absorbing the carbon, and then releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere. The carbon is then stored in the trees and forest soils. Even sustainable harvesting of trees converted to wood products like lumber, engineered wood products, and paper continue to store carbon. And trees are a renewable and sustainable resource — through growth, carbon storage, and harvest, the cycle of forest renewal can continue indefinitely for centuries. Congress has recognized the value of planting trees to mitigate and reverse the effects of a changing climate. Several bills introduced in this Congress call for increased tree planting and tree seedling production. These include the Trillion Trees Act (H.R.2693), the REPLANT Act (S.866), and most recently, America’s Revegetation and Carbon Sequestration Act (S.2836). The REPLANT Act provisions are included within the Senate Bipartisan Infrastructure bill that passed in August 2021. Each of these bills recognize the need to produce more tree seedlings and plant trees. But what is missing is a way to ensure there is labor available to plant the trees…

Las Vegas, Nevada, Sun, October 7, 2021: California fires may have killed hundreds of giant sequoias

Northern California wildfires may have killed hundreds of giant sequoias as they swept through groves of the majestic monarchs in the Sierra Nevada, an official said Wednesday. “It’s heartbreaking,” said Christy Brigham, head of resource management and science for Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. The lightning-caused KNP Complex that erupted on Sept. 9 has burned into 15 giant sequoia groves in the park, Brigham said. More than 2,000 firefighters were battling the blaze in sometimes treacherous terrain. On Wednesday afternoon, four people working on the fire were injured when a tree fell on them, the National Park Service reported. The four were airlifted to hospitals and “while the injuries are serious, they are in stable condition,” the report said. It didn’t provide other details. The KNP Complex was only 11% contained after burning 134 square miles (347 square kilometers) of forest. Cooler weather has helped slow the flames and the area could see some slight rain on Friday, forecasters said. The fire’s impact on giant sequoia groves was mixed. Most saw low- to medium-intensity fire behavior that the sequoias have evolved to survive, Brigham said…

International Business Times, October 7, 2021: Tree Unidentified For Decades Now Declared New Species

For decades, scientists have been baffled by a mysterious tree in the Amazon rainforest. Now, it has finally been declared a new species. Samples of the mysterious tree were first collected by scientist Robin Foster on a forest trail in Peru’s Manu National Park in 1973, Field Museum noted in a news release. It was about 20 feet tall and had small orange fruits that looked like orange Chinese lanterns. “I didn’t really think it was special, except for the fact that it had characteristics of plants in several different plant families, and didn’t fall neatly into any family,” Foster, now of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, said in the news release. “Usually I can tell the family by a quick glance, but damned if I could place this one.” Other scientists were also stumped by the mysterious tree that remained unidentified for many years. In their new study, published in the journal Taxon, a team of researchers finally identified the tree as a new species. “Preliminary molecular analysis indicated that it belonged to the Picramniaceae, even though the vegetative features were discordant,” the researchers wrote…

Fort Worth, Texas, Star-Telegram, October 7, 2021: Experienced arborists can help you keep your trees vigorous for many more decades

My good friend, the late Benny Simpson, was once describing growing up in the Texas Panhandle. Benny was one of Texas’ most noted tree experts, and trees were a love of his from the time he was a child until the day that he died. He once told me, “When I was a kid on Sunday afternoons, my dad would take me down to the river to see the tree.” We all need to have that same level of appreciation for trees here in Texas. They shade us and they protect us. They make our recreational spaces enjoyable many months of the year. And, as if all that weren’t enough, a properly chosen, placed and cared for shade tree can be worth thousands of dollars in the resale value of a Texas home. That’s been especially noticeable in the frenzied housing market of the past couple of years. It only stands to reason then, that you’d want to protect that investment by hiring only highly qualified professionals to work on your trees. How do you find such a company?…

Chicago, Illinois, WBEZ Radio, October 7, 2021: Chicago has only 50,000 ash trees left. Should we spend millions to keep them alive?

Chicago has tried for more than a decade to slow the declining health of ash trees, some of the city’s oldest and most mature trees that provide communities benefits like shade and flood mitigation, as the trees have been overcome by a small but mighty green pest. Starting in 2008, the city began inoculating the ash trees, which numbered about 96,000 at the time, against the invasive emerald ash borer beetle. But by 2018, with almost half of the ash population dead and removed, the city decided to stop inoculations and let the remaining 50,000 ash trees die off. Now with a flush of federal money in the city’s coffers, some activists and aldermen are pushing for the city to bring that inoculation program back, arguing it could save Chicago’s most populous tree, a key part of the overall tree canopy. That’s in part because of the type of trees ash are — featuring larger, wider leaves…

Stamford, Connecticut, Advocate, October 6, 2021: Eversource appealing Darien tree warden’s decision to not remove trees

Eversource is appealing the town tree warden’s decision that keeps it from removing dozens of trees in the Little Brook Road area as part of the power company’s vegetation management plan. The proposal to cut the trees has sparked controversy in town with many residents speaking out against the proposal citing environmental, safety and quality of life concerns. Eversource maintains that the clear-cutting is needed to ensure the safety and reliability of the power grid. Darien Tree Warden Michael Cotta issued a decision on Sept. 22, saying 21 of the tagged trees could come down because they are “diseased, defective or dead and provide little or no environmental benefit.” The decision came a day after a virtual public hearing drew 100 people, with most of the speakers opposing the proposal. His decision only concerns the trees in the town right-of-way adjacent to Little Brook Road and Raymond Street. The bulk of Eversource’s plan — which spans 18 miles along the company’s transmission lines, including 3.5 miles in Darien — involves clear-cutting on the state Department of Transportation property along the railroad tracks…

U.S. News and World Report, October 6, 2021: A Chilean Tree Holds Hope for New Vaccines – if Supplies Last

Down a dusty farm track in Chilean wine country, behind a wooden gate wrapped in chains, forestry experts are nursing a plantation of saplings whose bark holds the promise of potent vaccines. Quillay trees, technically known as Quillaja saponaria, are rare evergreens native to Chile that have long been used by the indigenous Mapuche people to make soap and medicine. In recent years, they have also been used to make a highly successful vaccine against shingles and the world’s first malaria vaccine, as well as foaming agents for products in the food, beverage and mining industries. Now two saponin molecules, made from the bark of branches pruned from older trees in Chile’s forests, are being used for a COVID-19 vaccine developed by drugmaker Novavax Inc. The chemicals are used to make adjuvant, a substance that boosts the immune system. Over the next two years, Maryland-based Novavax plans to produce billions of doses of the vaccine, mostly for low- and middle-income countries, which would make it one of the largest COVID-19 vaccine suppliers in the world. With no reliable data on how many healthy quillay trees are left in Chile, experts and industry officials are divided on how quickly the supply of older trees will be depleted by rising demand. But nearly everyone agrees that industries relying on quillay extracts will at some point need to switch to plantation-grown trees or a lab-grown alternative…

Stuart, Florida, Treasure Coast Palm, October 7, 2021: Florida gardening: Is it illegal to grow Brazilian pepper?

Q: I have just read an article about the Brazilian pepper tree and wanted to know if it is illegal to have one in my garden. My neighbor has been complaining about it and wanted to know if I am legally obligated to cut it down.
A: Such a loaded question! Brazilian pepper was brought to Florida from South America in the 1840s as an ornamental plant that bears red berries around the winter holidays. It was soon found to be spreading over much of Florida without help from humans, and it now is considered one of the most aggressive and invasive species found in Florida. Brazilian pepper is classified with poison ivy, cashews, and mangos. Named Schinus terebinthifolius by scientists and horticulturists, it is easy to recognize by its form and fruit. Brazilian pepper is an evergreen tree that can reach over 40 feet in height and width… Brazilian pepper is classified by the state of Florida as a noxious weed. This means it is unlawful to introduce, possess, move or release any part of the plant in Florida. Also, the live plants are not protected by any local or state laws or ordinances. Ordinances or rules requiring the removal of Brazilian pepper trees vary by municipality. Many entities such as counties, cities or villages do not have requirements to remove them from private property unless the property undergoes development and a permit of any type is required…

Madison, Wisconsin, Badger-Herald, October 5, 2021: UW lab discovers trees can change genetic structure to compete for resources

Change is happening everywhere, but it’s how living things adapt that counts — a perfect example of this is aspen forests. A new decade-long study by University of Wisconsin researchers reveals how aspen trees can change their genetic structure to compete for sunlight and defend themselves against pests like ants, moths and other tree-eating insects. Ecology professor Rick Lindroth and the Lindroth lab led the study — in their research, the lab primarily focuses on plant functional traits and how they influence plant ecology. “Functional traits are things like photosynthesis rates, growth rates, phonology and chemistry,” Lindroth said. “How do those different functions influence their ability to compete with other organisms?” The Lindroth Lab also researched the trade-offs among some of these traits in different genetic strains of aspens — those that grow well defend poorly and those that defend well grow poorly in a competition amongst themselves. Lindroth said he had previously tested this in the short term with potted plants, but he wanted to know what happens in a more natural environment when these trees are growing for long periods of time…

Popular Science, October 5, 2021: 300 years of tree rings show just how badly hurricanes have soaked the Carolinas

Sluggish hurricanes are dumping more rain over the coastal Southeast than in centuries past thanks to climate change, scientists reported this week. The researchers examined over 300 years of tree ring data to determine how rainfall from hurricanes has changed over time in the Carolinas. They found that extremes in tropical cyclone precipitation have increased between 64 to 128 millimeters (2.52 to 5.04 inches) compared with the early 1700s, mostly in the last six decades. The team published the findings on October 4 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The wettest years are getting even wetter,” says Justin Maxwell, a climatologist at Indiana University Bloomington and coauthor of the study. “We’re truly in uncharted territory with this amount of rainfall.” Storm surges and high winds cause plenty of destruction during a hurricane. However, one of the deadliest and most costly hazards is inland flooding, which is determined by how much rainfall the hurricane produces. Two striking recent examples are Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Florence, which pummeled parts of Texas and the Carolinas with record-breaking amounts of rain in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The storms caused tens of billions of dollars of damage, took dozens of lives, and ruptured lagoons filled with animal waste…

Los Angeles, California, Daily News, October 4, 2021: LA’s ‘Cool Streets’ program to add 60 miles of cool pavement, 2,000 trees

Los Angeles officials on Monday, Oct. 4, announced a second phase of the “Cool Streets L.A.” program aimed at lowering the temperatures in L.A.’s warmest neighborhoods by planting trees and adding cool pavement. The new phase, called “Cool Neighborhoods,” will add 60 miles of cool pavement and nearly 2,000 trees to Pico Union, Westlake South, North Hollywood, Canoga Park, Sylmar, Vermont Square, South Central and Boyle Heights. “The skyrocketing temperatures on our streets is an equity issue that puts local communities on the front line of the climate crisis,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Our hottest and most vulnerable neighborhoods are our top priority when it comes to climate action, and this program is about taking action in ways that will make a direct impact on people’s daily lives.” Garcetti announced the new program alongside Councilmen Bob Blumenfield and Paul Krekorian on Monday morning in North Hollywood, which received 13.4 lane miles of cool pavement — the largest single application in Los Angeles’ history. The cool pavement reduces ambient temperatures by reflecting more sunlight and absorbing less heat…

Boulder, Colorado, Daily Camera, October 5, 2021: Sharon Bokan: Planning a windbreak

As we head into the windier and hopefully snowy time of the year, now is the time to make plans to plant a windbreak on your small acreage next spring. Windbreaks make your yard less windy, prevent snowdrifts across the driveway and in corrals, prevent soil erosion, provide protection and shade for your livestock and provide wildlife habitat. In our area, windbreaks should be planted on the north and west sides of a property to block our winter winds. The principle behind windbreaks is the trees and shrubs are a barrier for the wind, slowing it down and allowing soil or snow to drop out. By slowing the wind velocity, they also protect soil from erosion. Windbreaks should not be planted directly next to the area you are trying to protect. They must be planted a distance away, allowing for the dust or snow to drop out prior to the driveway or building. The windbreak needs to be placed back two to five times the tree height at 20 years of age (usually from 20 to 50 feet tall) away from the driveway or structure. Windbreaks need to be 10 times the height of your tallest plant (mature height, not planted height) in length and continuous to be effective…

San Francisco, California, KPIX-TV, October 4, 2021: Years-Long Tree Removal Dispute
Between PG&E, Lafayette Residents May Soon Be Resolved

After the San Bruno pipeline explosion in 2010, PG&E began an aggressive tree-cutting program near its pipelines. They told Lafayette they wanted to cut down 1,200 trees, many along the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail. To the people who live there, the trees are essential. “We absolutely love the trees,” said neighbor Dinesh Gomes. “There’s lots of beautiful oak trees and a lot of other trees in this neighborhood, which is why we also moved into this neighborhood.” Residents then formed a group called “Save Lafayette Trees” which filed a lawsuit against PG&E. Facing opposition, the utility cut its request down to 900 trees, then 272, and it now stands at 207. Michael Dawson, who co-founded Save Lafayette Trees, said he thinks it was always about convenience, not safety. “The only trees that should be removed,” Dawson told KPIX 5, “is a tree that is an immediate safety concern, an immediate risk to public health. That should be removed, and we support that. Outside of that, we will continue to fight for all the trees…”

USA Today, October 4, 2021: Are you seeing more acorns falling? You could be in the middle of a ‘mast year’

Are you hearing more taps on your roof than normal? Or maybe a few extra crunches as you pull the car out of your driveway? Some Americans are seeing more acorns drop than usual this year. If you’re in the same boat, then you could be in the middle of what’s called a “mast year” for oak trees, which is when they produce an abundance of nuts. In Michigan, one resident said the two “epic oaks” outside her house started dropping acorns in bunches this year after not producing any for years. In Connecticut, parts of the state are seeing a sparse output while others see “a lot.” If acorn mast years seem a bit random, that’s because they are – in some ways, at least. They can happen on varying scales and don’t occur on a set schedule. They come around as often as once every year or two and can be spurred by winter weather, experts say…

London, UK, Daily Mail, October 4, 2021: Old oaks learn new tricks! Mature trees can boost the amount of carbon dioxide they absorb, study finds – in breakthrough that could buy humanity ‘extra headroom’ to fight climate change

Mature trees can boost the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) they absorb, a new study shows, which is ‘good news’ in the fight against climate change. Scientists in Birmingham conducted a giant outdoor experiment on oak trees in rural England that had reached ‘middle age’, meaning they’d stopped growing upwards. The trees increased their rate of photosynthesis by up to a third when exposed to elevated levels of CO2 from the air, they found. The fact that mature trees are so abundant around the world might give humanity ‘extra headroom’ to fight climate change. Forests are widely recognised as important ‘carbon sinks’ – ecosystems that are capable of capturing and storing large amounts of CO2. The research was conducted on trees in Staffordshire at the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) and published in Tree Physiology. ‘We are sure now that the old trees are responding to future carbon dioxide levels,’ said Professor Rob MacKenzie, founding Director of BIFoR…

Indianapolis, Indiana, Star, October 5, 2021: Scrub Hub: Are trees in Central Indiana bypassing fall and dropping their leaves early?

Anyone else head outside in the morning and scratch their head at where all the leaves came from? Did anyone else spend this past weekend raking leaves, feeling like you had to break out the garden tools a little earlier than last year? Just two weeks into fall and nearly a month before the city of Indianapolis usually begins its fall leaf collection, Central Indiana is seeing leaves drop all over the place. As Hoosiers anxiously await for fall colors of red, orange and yellow to take over the canopy, the only hues many are seeing are shades of dull green and brown. On the ground. With that said, the question on many people’s minds becomes: Am I going crazy or are the leaves dropping early — and, if so, why? We spoke to a couple tree experts to figure out what is going on and what, if anything, residents should know about how to address it. So keep reading to get to the bottom of it. First things first, you are not going crazy. The leaves are dropping early this year — plain and simple. “We are not in the appropriate scope of natural fall color,” said Carrie Tauscher, state urban forestry coordinator with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. “Not even for early fall color, this is too early for the normal healthy range” to change color and drop leaves…

Staten Island, New York, Advance, October 2, 2021: ‘They are everywhere’ — Hundreds of spotted lanternflies infest tree of heaven in Tottenville

A tree of heaven outside a Tottenville family’s home has become a living hell for area residents now that hundreds of spotted lanternflies have infested its trunk. “They are everywhere. You can’t miss them,” said the Rev. Bette Sohm, pastor of Bethel United Methodist Church, who lives on Bethel Avenue with her husband, Glenn. The Sohms first noticed the lanternflies on their property and inside the church’s cemetery over the past month. “I’ve seen them on my walks through the cemetery to the church and around the neighborhood,” Rev. Sohm said. “I took my daughter to Arthur Kill train station and it looked like there were a lot of them near there, but as though someone had killed them all.” She added that it was her daughter who first noticed them on the Ailanthus tree, aka tree of heaven, in their front yard. Lanternflies are known to feed on Ailanthus trees as well as poplar, maple and willow trees. When the Advance/SILive.com visited the home Saturday, the tree was covered with the speedy insects from the roots up to the branches. Swarms of them were on top of each other…

Austin, Texas, KXAN-TV, October 3, 2021: Fall foliage guide: Here are the autumn tree colors you could see soon

Spooky season is upon us in Central Texas — and so is fall foliage! While it may seem that Texas’ long summers turn directly into winter, we do see a small stretch of autumn. Much of Central Texas has native trees that are evergreen (like our infamous cedar trees), but that doesn’t mean we don’t experience our own taste of beautiful fall colors. Maple trees put on a great show in the autumn across the Lone Star State. You can recognize these by their bright red, yellow and orange leaves that tend to peak in late October or early November, according to Trips to Discover. Using this data, in addition to The Spruce, here’s a look at the colors you may see this fall. The Texas Ash tree is a common tree that changes colors from green to reds, yellows and oranges…

Wilmington, Delaware, WDEL Radio, October 3, 2021: Arborist offers tips to keep your trees healthy

Fall is here, the trees in your yard need looking after, and an expert has some tips to keep them healthy. One big problem is lanternflies, which “mob” their favorite trees and can destroy them, said Jason Gaskill with Davey Tree Expert Company. “They’re entering into the tree bacteria and fungus and things like that, they’re also opening the tree to wounds that the tree has a hard time compartmentalizing because they got so much insect pressure,” said Gaskill. Gaskill added at this time of year, you should start thinking about composting dead leaves and including them in mulch piles and landscape beds, which gives trees needed nutrients, but that’s not all. “It’s also going to help some of the matrix of bionomes, like beneficial bacteria and beneficial fungus and things like that that are also gonna help the tree by breaking down compost and helping the tree be able to absorb nutrients and so forth,” said Gaskill. During the winter, Gaskill suggests checking your trees for any defects, which should be easier to see while most trees are without their leaves…

Abilene, Texas, Reporter News, October 3, 2021: Bruce Kreitler: Trees taking blame for contractors’ troubles

While I might really enjoy knowing a fair amount about trees and working on them, at the end of the day I’m simply another contractor, such as a plumber, yard maintenance person, roofer or cement worker. In fact, in my world, we contractors run across each other all the time, and sometimes our work — of whatever flavor — impinges on other contractors’ work. Or it could something that needs to be accomplished so that other contractors can get in and get their work taken care of. Mostly, as far as trees go, when somebody else needs me to do something first, it involves getting something out of the way. In some cases, it’s a roofing crew that needs trees cut back so they have room to work. Other times, it might be a pool contractor that needs a tree removed so they can dig up the area. Of course, let’s not forget about the house painters that need room between the house and large shrubs so they can get in there and paint. Not to mention that these days, I’m starting to get calls about cutting back, or removing, trees that are in the way of light for solar panels…

The Hill, September 30, 2021: Canadian firm seeks to make tree planting programs more accountable

A Canadian apparel company that focuses on sustainability is expanding its efforts by trying to solve a key problem at the heart of tree-planting programs worldwide: accountability. In launching a blockchain-based forestry management tool, the clothing maker known as tentree hopes to release a flood of investment cash by helping companies ensure that the trees they are sponsoring have actually been planted; that they are still growing years after the fact; and that they haven’t been sold to someone else. One of the biggest challenges in global tree planting efforts – along with carbon offsetting programs more broadly – has been establishing a standardized certification process to determine which projects are reliable. The major hurdle now facing tentree is getting sufficient buy-in from companies in the sustainability sector…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, October 1, 2021: Your guide to apple picking in the Chicago area, from pick-your-own orchards to an apple tree maze

There’s a cozy quietness to the beginning of fall that even those of us woefully zipping up jackets and already missing summer can appreciate. And as far as Midwest autumns go, nothing beats a stroll through an apple orchard and that first bite of a perfectly tart, just-picked Honeycrisp. The Chicago suburbs and surrounding countryside are full of pick-your-own apple orchards for that quintessential fall day trip, and many have adapted their business in response to the pandemic. For some, that means hand-washing stations and reminders to keep masks on, or extra staff on standby to get crowds in and out of line quicker. Others, lacking the space to spread out safely, have had to close up shop early. But orchard staff are not the only ones feeling a bit of strain this season. “The warm winter prior to February and a couple of timely freeze events did put some significant pressure on apples throughout the state,” said Trent Ford, Illinois state climatologist. “Most orchards made it through without tremendous loss, but a few — especially some of the smaller ones who may not have as many adaptive resources to deal with late freeze — did unfortunately lose quite a bit of their crop…”

Portland, Oregon, KOIN-TV, September 30, 2021: ‘Dangerous’ Tree of Heaven puts Portland man through ordeal

Reggie Williams had a Tree of Heaven in his Northeast Portland yard. But the City of Portland actually says it’s “an alien plant invader” that has “cracked foundations, shifted pipe and caused an untold amount of damage” in many local neighborhoods. Williams’ battle with the Tree of Heaven has been extreme over the past few years. He first noticed something was wrong in the basement of his Northeast Portland home in 2017. Two years later he shared his story with KOIN 6 News, and now four years into his ordeal experts are saying his home may need to be torn down. “I’m going through a bunch of crazy,” he said. “I’m on medication. I’m going through counseling behind this. I never thought this would ever happen to me. This should never happen to anybody in America.” According to the original engineer’s report in 2019, two foundation walls had “cracking that is likely causing the structure to become unstable.” The engineer said it was the Tree of Heaven between Williams’ house and his neighbors. One early estimate showed the damage to his home would cost $36,000 to $38,000 to repair…

Dallas, Texas, WFAA-TV, September 30, 2021: What’s that tree in your backyard? How to identify it by its leaves

The winter freeze this February was a tough test for trees across North Texas, and we’re still seeing the impact months later. If your trees appear to be dying now, there’s a good chance it might be an after-effect from the February freeze. But before you start looking for warning signs in your trees, you might have a common question: What tree do I have anyway? North Texas covers two main ecoregions, divided east and west: Cross Timbers on the west and Blackland Prairie on the east. But both regions feature similar trees. In North Texas, some of our most common trees are oaks, pecans and elm trees include • Live oaks, post oaks and blackjack oaks are among the most common oak trees in Texas. All three types of oak trees can grow to more than 50 feet tall. Live oaks are notable for a low, dense crown that can spread more than 100 feet. Oak leaves are typically oval or elliptical and 2-4 inches long. • Pecans: Another large tree, some pecan trees can grow to 120 feet tall with a truck of four feet in diameter. The most obvious indicator? Yep, you guessed it: It produces pecans, which ripen in the fall…

Omaha, Nebraska, World-Herald, September 29, 2021: Storm damage, emerald ash borer add urgency for group hoping to expand Omaha’s tree cover

When Michelle Foss would talk to people about a community forest plan, they’d often ask, “What do we need that for? We’re doing just fine.’’ Then came the relentless march of the emerald ash borer and this summer’s violent windstorm that decimated parts of the city’s tree canopy. So far, 6,663 ash trees have been removed across the city of Omaha because of the borer, with more than twice that still scheduled for removal. Tree losses from the July windstorm aren’t quite so clear cut because no one compiles damage estimates for private property. But Matthew Kalcevich, Omaha’s director of parks, recreation and public property, said his staff compares this year’s damage to the tornado and windstorm that struck parts of the Omaha area in 2008. To paint a picture, he said the City of Omaha has removed more than 800 trees from parks and golf courses because of the storm…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, September 29, 2021: Southern Sierra wildfires wiping out giant sequoia trees for 2nd year in a row

More than a dozen groves of giant sequoias may lose significant numbers of trees in the wildfires now raging in the southern Sierra Nevada, even as fire crews succeed, sometimes dramatically, in keeping flames at bay in the most popular stands. Scientists surveying the damage of two active fires say the biggest losses will likely be at the south end of Giant Sequoia National Monument, where already 29 large trees have been listed as dead and many more are expected to follow. The Windy Fire there has exploded to 87,901 acres, and it’s burning out of control through several less-known, but still-towering sequoia stands, including the stately Packsaddle Grove. The fire was just 25% contained on Wednesday…

Panama City, Florida, WMBB-TV, September 29, 2021: Panama City moving forward with plans to plant 30,000 oak trees

The City of Panama City is continuing to move forward with plans to plant trees throughout Panama City. By 2025, the city hopes to plant more than 30,000 trees, which would replace the trees lost on city property, due to Hurricane Michael. “Tree canopies bring an ecosystem-type service, which is pollution control,” Sean DePalma, Panama City Quality of Life Director said. “It’s a natural air filter, and also stormwater management. It helps absorb a lot of stormwater so that will help us out.” Overall the city lost more than a million trees from the hurricane. Soon DePalma said the city will start planting oak trees downtown along Harrison Ave., from Government Ave. to Fourth Street. “It also adds a quality of life,” DePalma said. “Aesthetics, it brings up the value of the property, it brings shade to patrons. You know families and individuals underneath it so there’s a lot of value to a healthy tree canopy. And that’s what we’re going to strive to work towards.” Downtown business owners are excited for the downtown area to return to its look, before Hurricane Michael. “What that’s gonna provide for our public is shade, beauty,” Nate Taylor, operating partner of C&G Sporting Goods said. “Who doesn’t love an oak? And I believe the size of the trees are at 15 feet because they’ve got to be ADA compliant as well…”

Bakersfield, California, KERO-TV, September 28, 2021: Joshua trees found cut down near Tehachapi

It’s a piece of nature that goes hand in hand with California: the Joshua tree. They only grow in a small handful of places across the world, and one of those spots is not far from Tehachapi in the Mojave Desert. That’s why when one local woman says she found a bunch of them cut down in eastern Kern County, she wanted answers and reached out to 23ABC. What’s usually a place of joy, is now the opposite for Julie Weigel. “This is not normal for the dirt to look like this. It’s really sad and it angers me,” said Weigel. “As you can see, they’re pretty good-sized tracks. They’re not a little tractor. It’s a big bulldozer.” Bulldozer tracks and leftover debris now cover the area she goes hiking at. “Who’s doing this, and why? It’s not right.” Those are questions she continues to ask in a location just southwest of Mojave off of Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road, where it’s common to see Joshua trees. But in one place that you can only get to by a dirt road, those unique tree-like plants are visibly absent…

Joplin, Missouri, KSNF-TV, September 29, 2021: City of Goodman to receive free tulip trees from “Forest ReLeaf of Missouri”

In tonight’s dose of good news… A southwest Missouri city will soon have more life in the local park. The City of Goodman will get 15 free tulip trees from the “Forest ReLeaf of Missouri,” out of St. Louis. The trees will be planted around the park on East Garner Avenue. Mayor J.R. Fisher sent in an application explaining that the city is rebuilding after the 2017 tornado — and they were officially chosen as a recipient. “The park, there’s constantly people, now that it’s out there, you know so we’re just wanting to pretty it up some, and I’m looking forward thinking. Looking ahead next generations to have some place to go, and how it’s gonna look,” said J.R. Fisher — Goodman Mayor. The trees will be planted sometime this weekend…

Newport News, Virginia, Daily Press, September 28, 2021: Virginia’s best fall colors are likely to peak around Oct. 23, tree expert says

Heading west to spot Virginia’s best fall colors? You may want to err on the early side this year, one tree expert says. John Seiler, professor and tree physiology specialist at Virginia Tech, is predicting peak leaves in the fourth weekend of October, or around Saturday the 23rd. That’s due to a significant dry period in August that caused trees to start shutting down, followed by a cooler September including rain, he said. “Things are looking pretty good for a good year,” he said. Seiler looks at the same few individual trees each year, on the same dates, for his classes. This year, he’s noticed them starting to turn early. The end of October is always the rough peak period for western Virginia, but it can range within a week or so on either side. Being early is nothing negative, he noted. In Hampton Roads, fall colors come about a week later and are more muted compared to the mountains due to the region’s species. Early November is usually our peak, but the early shift will make it the last weekend of October, Seiler said. The main reason why trees change color and drop their leaves is the same each year — daylight. They’re genetically programmed to turn when the days start getting shorter. If you put the trees in a greenhouse with all other factors controlled, they’d still change the exact same day every year because of the day length, he said…

Phys.org, September 28, 2021: Mexican communities manage their local forests, generating benefits for humans, trees and wildlife

The United Nations is preparing to host pivotal conferences in the coming months on two global crises: climate change and biodiversity loss. As experts have pointed out, these issues are fundamentally, inescapably intertwined. In both cases, human activities are harming nature and the support it provides to people. But that connection also is an opportunity. Protecting places that are both carbon- and species-rich can help slow climate change and biodiversity loss at the same time. For example, in a June 2021 report, U.N. biodiversity experts urged nations to establish strict protected areas and govern forests through “locally adjusted sustainable management practices.” I study Mexican community forests, and believe they are the world’s best model of local sustainable management. My research over 30 years has shown that when Indigenous and local communities control their forests for commercial timber production, both humans and the land benefit…

Fairfax, Virginia, Patch, September 29, 2021: Threatened Trees Saved As City Council Denies Funding Endorsement

Fairfax City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to not endorse the funding request to pay for the John Mason Trail. With this action, the project, which has face a great deal of criticism in recent weeks from city residents, has been placed on hold. The city had an Oct. 1 deadline to endorse its application to receive 70 percent funding from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority for Fiscal Year 2027. By not endorsing the application, the city would not receive the $6.8 million needed to pay for the project. After the meeting, Judy Fraser, who was one of the citizens who opposed the current trail proposal, said she was elated by the decision to pause the project. “Many of us who raised the concerns are bicyclists too and are looking forward to being involved in a more holistic take on building a bikeable transportation network in the city, definitely one that doesn’t treat publicly owned forests and stream valleys as mere ‘right of ways,'” she said…

Vancouver, British Columbia, North Shore News, September 28, 2021: Heat dome hit these Vancouver neighbourhoods hardest — could planting more trees save lives?

Under the heat dome, Vanessa Csurbi measured survival in the spaces between shade and water. Fifty metres to the women’s shelter for a cold bottle. A hundred metres to the volunteers handing out Freezies. As the temperature soared past 40 C, Csurbi would tuck herself into the lee of a building with her dog, searching for relief and fighting back dizziness. Concrete everywhere. “I would move around to different spots. I’d soak myself at the different water stations,” she remembers. “You don’t have these big, lush trees.” “If you’re homeless and you’re down in the Downtown Eastside, it’s really, really hot.” Vancouver is no Montreal or Toronto. Summertime temperatures are usually buffered by the cooling effects of the Pacific Ocean, and the city rarely faces the vicious heat waves of other North American cities. That respite took a deadly turn at the end of June when a one-in-a-thousand-year slab of high pressure roasted British Columbia, shattering all-time temperature records and leading to at least 569 deaths. By the time the ambulance and fire truck sirens waned, it became clear death hit B.C.’s biggest cities hardest, where the amplifying effects of a concrete jungle create a notorious “urban heat island effect…”

Woodland Park, Colorado, Pikes Peak Courier, September 27, 2021: The aspen connection: A meditation of Colorado’s favorite fall tree

Paul Rogers may go far, all the way to central Europe from his northern Utah home, but he’s never far from his muse. After all, aspens are among the world’s most widespread tree. This month in Czechia, aspens were indeed Rogers’ focus — as they have been for other scholarly retreats over his 20-plus years of research. Rogers is director of Utah State University’s Western Aspen Alliance, an informational clearinghouse for the tree garnering admiration every fall. For the start of the shimmering show in the American West, Rogers found himself abroad, studying a species different from the “quaking” one known here. But many things were the same. For one: “I never meet anyone, public or professional, who doesn’t say this is their favorite tree,” Rogers said in a Zoom call. “You know, for centuries, both in this continent where I’m sitting and where you’re sitting, people have gone to aspen forests for meditative or healing purposes…”

Memphis, Tennessee, WREG-TV, September 27, 2021: Tree trimming turning into a dangerous business in Memphis, and not for the reason you think

Memphis police are looking for a robber caught on camera after holding up a tree trimming crew at gunpoint in East Memphis. It happened outside a home in the 4100 block of Tuckahoe Lane at around 11:30 a.m. September 17. The four victims told officers a man got out of a silver Mercury Milan with a semi-automatic handgun, told them not to move, and took multiple chainsaws and other landscaping equipment. In a picture released by police, you can see the suspect walking toward a silver car carrying what appears to be a chainsaw. MPD said investigators believe the suspect is responsible for several other robberies…

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Advocate, September 27, 2021: Did Ida blow down a tree in your yard? These fast-growing trees are good replacements

Storms and hurricanes, combined with the torrential rains of late, have wreaked havoc on our trees. To many, losing a tree is akin to losing a member of the family. In recent weeks, massive oaks and willows, pines and sycamores have come crashing down. Many of those trees may have taken 20 to 30 years to reach a mature size, and now there are gaping holes in the landscape. Some homeowners want to fill those gaps but don’t have the time for new trees to reach full maturity. So they turn to fast-growing trees and shrubs. Although the landscape will look better sooner, one of the trade-offs for fast-growing trees can be weak wood, and you could find yourself back where you started when the next storm blows through…

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, KELO-TV, September 27, 2021: Replacing your ash tree: Which trees will look best on your lawn

If you live in Sioux Falls, chances are you’ve seen some of the trees in parks and along city streets disappear. More often than not, the reason for this removal is a little pest called the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The EAB is a tiny green beetle that arrived as an invasive species from China and has so far killed more than 100 million ash trees in the United States. In 2018, due to the threat of the EAB, the City of Sioux Falls began a preemptive process to removing ash trees in city parks and properties, as well as those in the public right of way, such as in the boulevard in front of houses and apartments. According to Kelby Mieras, the city’s Park Operations Manager, there were around 22,000 ash street trees in the community when the city began it’s process, which is expected to be completed in 2028. While trees in the boulevard are removed by the city, the work and cost of replanting is up to the property owner. When it comes time to replant, the city has a recommended list of ‘street trees’ that you can plant between your sidewalk and the street…

Honolulu, Hawaii, Star-Advertiser, September 25, 2021: Hawaii makes pledge to conserve, restore or grow 100 million trees by 2030

Hawaii has pledged to conserve, restore or grow 100 million trees by 2030 as part of a global one-trillion-tree effort. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources in a news release said Gov. David Ige revealed Hawaii’s pledge in a video message during virtual or in-person Global Citizen Live events, which are being held in cities around the world. The One Trillion Trees Pledge is part of the 24-hour Global Citizen Live event today to “defend the planet and defeat poverty” and is meant to achieve net-negative carbon goals and combat climate change. The DLNR is leading the state’s pledge, which has also been supported by the state Department of Transportation and Department of Defense. The state will plant, conserve or restore 10 million trees each year this decade. “Forest carbon projects withdraw carbon dioxide (CO2), the greenhouse gas largely responsible for global climate change, and stores it in trees or other biomass,” DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said in a statement. ‘The actions planned until the end of this decade will contribute to our net-negative carbon goal…”

Omaha, Nebraska, World-Herald, September 26, 2021: Need to replace a tree lost during Omaha’s storms? Fall can be the best time to plant

Even though it seems like planting season is over, fall is a great time to replace a tree you may have lost in the July wind storm or just add a new one. The tree will get one more beneficial season (spring) before it has to deal with the stress of heat and limited precipitation during the summer. It will be ready to take off at the first signs of warmth, when its spring-planted counterparts haven’t even left the nursery. “All of this increases the likelihood of the tree surviving the critical establishment period in its first year after replanting and developing a healthy root system,” said Chris Stratman, executive director of Keep Omaha Beautiful…

Jackson, Michigan, MLive.com, September 25, 2021: 100-year-old Jackson tree cut down for safety concerns after recent storms

After standing for 100 years, a silver maple tree in Jackson was cut down due to safety concerns from the homeowner and surrounding houses in the wake of recent storms. The tree grew in Sharon Cabage’s front yard. It was approximately 164 inches in girth and 70 feet tall, taking up a large section of the property she moved onto 63 years ago. “I always thought it was a big tree then,” Cabage said. “It’s too, you know, enormous.” The Jackson Audubon Society has estimated the tree is more than 100 years old and likely is the third largest silver maple in the county, Cabage said. Cabage decided to finally remove the tree from her property due to storms with heavy wind and rain that Jackson County has experienced the last few weeks. With the tree so old, Cabage said she was worried it or its limbs would fall onto nearby homes, she said. “This was such a danger to our house and our neighbor’s house, it just had to come down,” she said. “With the storms we’ve had, we don’t want it to come down on our neighbor’s house…”

Columbia, Oregon, The Columbian, September 26, 2021: Delayed mortality expected for Pacific Northwest trees

The effects of the drought and heat on trees won’t be fully known until next spring, tree experts in Oregon say. Oregon State University professor and forest health specialist Dave Shaw told The Oregonian/OregonLive that there’s typically delayed mortality associated with drought. But rain is predicted this weekend. “It will definitely be a good thing for the forests,” Shaw said. “But we won’t really know how the trees did this year until next spring, as we often see delayed mortality associated with drought.” All of Oregon is experiencing drought ranging from severe to exceptional, the worst category. Leaves on some trees are turning brown instead of the traditional fall colors before falling to the ground. Extreme conditions like these are often from a combination of unusual random, short-term and natural weather patterns heightened by long-term, human-caused climate change. Scientists have long warned that the weather will get wilder as the world warms…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, September 23, 2021: That tree blocks my view, so it’s got to go.  Pacific Heights resident wins dispute over neighbor’s pine

Trees are among nature’s wonders — but a neighbor’s growing arbor can also eliminate a resident’s treasured scenic views. Now a state appeals court, relying on a San Francisco ordinance that seeks to resolve treetop feuds, has ordered a Pacific Heights couple to take down a sprouting Monterey pine that stands between their next-door neighbor’s home and the bay. The neighbor, now 81, moved into the San Francisco home with her now-deceased husband in 1976 and testified that they chose the site largely because of its unobstructed view of San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island and lands to the north. The pine was planted next door by a prior resident in 1999 and, by the time the case went to trial in 2019, had grown to 30 to 32 feet, with widening, thickly growing branches. “The tree’s rapid growth in both height and breadth obstructs the views of landmarks and vistas that could once be seen” from the neighbor’s ground floor, Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ross, who had visited the site during the non-jury trial, said in a December 2019 order to remove the pine under San Francisco’s 1988 Tree Dispute Resolution Ordinance…

Albuquerque, New Mexico, KRQE-TV, September 23, 2021: “I’ve never seen anything like it”: Cibola Co. residents concerned about number of dying trees

Trees are dying off fast in a New Mexico forest. Now, neighbors are worried it’s creating a more than 50,000-acre fire hazard. ine Meadow Ranches in Cibola County is a remote subdivision a few miles away from the El Morro National Monument. “See the little ones are getting it now, that’s only happened in the last few weeks,” said resident Danny Heim while pointing out the trees. Heim keeps an eye out on the trees. “See those that are light,” Heim said. “Those are going to be dead in a few days just like these.” Heim is concerned their trees are dying at an alarming rate. He said at least half of the pinon trees within a 5,000-acre radius are dead or dying. “Last year, you wouldn’t have seen nothing, anything like this,” said Heim. “I mean you would’ve seen a dead one here and there, more typical you’ll see a dead pinon every now and but like this no I’ve never seen anything like it. Most all of this happened this summer…”

St. Cloud, Minnesota, Times, September 23, 2031: Your trees were stressed this summer. Don’t expect them to perform for you this fall

You think you’re stressed this fall? Try being a tree. Central Minnesota’s significant summer drought means Central Minnesota’s peak fall colors are expected to shine less brightly than usual and leave faster, DNR Cooperative Forest Management Outreach Specialist Jennifer Teegarden said this week. Most of Minnesota experienced extreme drought this summer, and St. Cloud clocked its 13th driest summer on record. “Healthy leaves produce the best fall colors,” Teegarden said. A mild drought can actually help produce better fall color, Teegarden said. But this year, trees had “a double whammy” — the trees themselves were water-stressed, and their leaves were stressed, too. Central Minnesota typically experiences peak fall color in late September through early October. Teegarden said peak color might not last as long as early October. The DNR’s fall colors map, updated Sept. 22, shows the St. Cloud area at about 25-50% of fall color. Leaves release water vapor through small pores called stomates. When a tree is thirsty, it can conserve water by shedding leaves early. It can also essentially shut the leaf down so it is no longer functioning properly (and not releasing water). But “in the process of shutting the leaf down, the leaf no longer has the ability to go through photosynthesis,” Teegarden said…

San Jose, California, Mercury News, September 23, 2021: Sequoia National Park fire: First photos show park’s most famous trees have so far survived

Fires have been burning for two weeks in Sequoia National Park and Sequoia National Forest, two of California’s iconic landmarks. Late Wednesday, National Park Service officials finally allowed press photographers into the Giant Forest, a spectacular grove that contains five of the largest trees in the world by volume, including the General Sherman Tree, the world’s largest, which is 275 feet tall, at least 2,300 years old, and 102 feet around at the base. The photos — the first since the flames entered the Giant Forest last Friday — show that the General Sherman Tree and several others, known as the Four Guardsmen, have so far survived. Fire crews wrapped the massive trees in fireproof blankets and cleared flammable vegetation from around them. The grove also has benefitted from 50 years of thinning projects and prescribed fires done by park service crews so that if a major wildfire broke out, flames would stay close to the ground. Other groves of giant sequoias in the park and in Sequoia National Forest have not had that work done and are at greater risk in the two fires, known as the KNP Complex and the Windy Fire…

Los Angeles, California, KNBC-TV, September 22, 2021: One Tree at a Time: LA Cooling Underprivileged Urban Areas

The goal is to plant 90,000 trees across Los Angeles by the end of this year and increase the tree canopy in areas of greatest need 50% by 2028. It is part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Green New Plan. It is an ambitious multi-pronged strategy to fight climate change. The city hired its first Forest Officer, Rachel Malarich, to oversee the process that involves non-profit organizations, universities, and volunteers. “Our goal is to have trees providing benefits to all of our residents,” Malarich said. So far more than 52,000 trees have been planted, the city admittedly behind. The COVID-19 pandemic put a pause to shovels in the ground. The work is now picking up, planting and educating people in areas like Boyle Heights on how to care for trees planted in their neighborhoods. “Whenever we come and give water to it, it will continue to grow more and more,” one volunteer told NBC4. “If it’s a house, if it’s an apartment to give shade, you don’t have to use your air conditioning as much,” another volunteer at a recent planting event in Koreatown said…

Huffington Post, September 22, 2021: Trump Administration Broke The Law In Refusing To Protect Joshua Trees, Court Rules

A federal judge in Los Angeles ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration violated the law when it declined to grant Endangered Species Act protections to the iconic Joshua tree. In 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rejected a petition from WildEarth Guardians to list the desert trees as threatened under the landmark 1972 conservation law. The agency said at the time that it analyzed a number of potential impacts, including drought, wildfire and climate change, and found that neither of the two species of Joshua trees, Yucca brevifolia or Yucca jaegeriana, warranted federal protection. U.S. District Judge Otis Wright, an appointee of President George W. Bush, slammed the federal agency in his Wednesday opinion and sided with WildEarth Guardians, which argued that the federal agency disregarded science showing the myriad ways in which climate impacts threaten the trees’ long-term survival…

Stamford, Connecticut, Advocate, September 22, 2021: Darien residents pan Eversource’s tree plan, say it will cause more flooding

Residents repeatedly said they supported the need for a safe and reliable power grid, but they publicly questioned Eversource’s approach with its plan to clear-cut trees. “While I share the critical importance of Eversource’s goal of a resilient and reliable electric grid, as Darien’s first selectman I wish to be on the record as objecting to clear-cutting vegetation as an effective utility resilience measure,” Jayme Stevenson said at a virtual public hearing on Tuesday. “Electric utility resilience measures must be balanced against impacts to the natural environment and impacts to residential property values.” The hearing dealt with Eversource’s vegetation management plan in Darien and drew about 100 people. None of the nearly 20 residents who spoke supported the plan. The tree warden has three days to make a decision about the trees slated for removal in the town right-of-way on Little Brook Road and Raymond Street…

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Sun-Sentinel, September 17, 2021: Regal rain tree is priceless. But if old giant dies in move, developer owes city $1 million.

Long before skyscrapers came to town, a majestic rain tree has grown tall and proud for nearly a century, bringing beauty and a touch of controversy to a quiet spot in downtown Fort Lauderdale destined for development. Soon enough, the same ground where the tree now stands will become home to twin 30-story towers, shiny and modern with 771 luxury apartments along with boutique shops and fancy restaurants. The tree, planted nearly 100 years ago and now soaring 70 feet into the air, will need to be moved to a new spot to make way for the project — and some worry it won’t survive. Over the years, the prospect of losing the evergreen to yet another high-rise has sent neighbors into a frenzy. Now they’re atwitter all over again in what for many is a déjà vu moment. For some, the rain tree has become a symbol of the ongoing conflict between the old and the new, between developers driving downtown’s fast-paced growth and preservationists compelled to save a tree they say can never be replaced…

Boston, Massachusetts, Globe, September 21, 2021: 4 famous giant trees unharmed by Sequoia National Park fire

Four famous giant sequoias were not harmed by a wildfire that reached the edge of Giant Forest in California’s Sequoia National Park, authorities said. The Four Guardsmen, a group of trees that form a natural entryway on the road to the forest, were successfully protected from the KNP Complex fire by the removal of nearby vegetation and by wrapping fire-resistant material around the bases of the trees, the firefighting management team said in a statement Sunday. The KNP Complex began as two lightning-sparked fires that eventually merged and has scorched more than 37 square miles (96 square kilometers) in the heart of sequoia country on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. There was no immediate word, however, on the full extent of damage in several other sequoia groves reached by a separate blaze, the Windy Fire, in the Giant Sequoia National Monument area of Sequoia National Forest and the Tule River Indian Reservation. The Windy Fire has burned through the Peyrone and Red Hill groves, as well as a portion of the Long Meadow Grove along the Trail of 100 Giants. A portion of one giant sequoia along the trail was confirmed to have burned, said Thanh Nguyen, a spokesman for the fire command. Fire crews with hoses and water-dropping helicopters were working to limit damage to the giant sequoias in the groves, where there are also other types of trees…

Pensacola, Florida, News Journal, September 21, 2021: Appeal to save Escambia County’s largest ‘heritage tree’ fails

Environmental advocates lost their fight to try to save an 85-inch diameter live oak Monday when the Escambia County Board of Adjustment ruled unanimously that they lacked standing to appeal the county’s decision allowing the protected tree to be cut down. During a four-hour, quasi-judicial hearing Monday that was at times chaotic and contentious, the Board of Adjustment ruled that neither Emerald Coastkeeper nor tree advocate Margaret Hostetter had standing to appeal the county’s decision. Because of the decision over the lack of standing, the Board of Adjustment did not get to hear any arguments challenging the Development Review Committee’s decision in August to approve a development order for a self-storage building that required the removal of the protected tree. The owners of A+ Mini-Storage, W. M. Bell Co. of Santa Rosa County LLC, are planning to expand the A+ Mini-Storage location in Brent on Palafox Street and bought the neighboring property…

Horticulture, September 21, 2021: Why Tree Leaves Change Color in Autumn

For deciduous trees and shrubs, the warmth and abundant sunshine of summer is the time to be productive. Leaves come out in the spring with the job of absorbing sunlight. They use the sun’s energy to produce food, glucose sugar. But these leaves are relatively fragile. They could never withstand the below-freezing temperatures of winter, so the plant “knows” to shed them in the fall. (Evergreens, on the other hand, have stronger leaves, even with their own antifreeze inside, so they can withstand the winter cold.) The green we see in leaves is chlorophyll, the pigment that absorbs sunlight. But there are other pigments in leaves, with different colors. Carotenoids are always present in plant leaves, but their colors are masked by the chlorophyll green. When chlorophyll production slows and eventually stops in autumn, the yellow, orange or brown of the carotenoids can shine through. Anthocyanin is another pigment, one that is primarily produced in the fall by only some plants. Those that have it display brilliant red and purple leaves. Pigmentation varies by species, as does the timing of the color change, thus we can get a varying panorama of colors in the autumn. Deciduous trees and shrubs have two cues they use to stop producing chlorophyll and shed their leaves. When the days become shorter and the nights longer in fall, it’s a sure sign of colder temperatures to come. This is the prime cue plants use, because it is consistent year after year. The other signal is the actual decrease in overnight temperatures. This is a secondary cue, since temperature is dependent on weather patterns that can vary…

Sacramento, California, KOVR-TV, September 21, 2021: ‘Torture Orchard’ At UC Davis Stresses Trees To Find Which Ones Are Drought Tolerant

It’s come to be known as a “torture orchard” – researchers stressing trees to determine which are drought tolerant and design varieties for commercial food production. “When it comes to overhead irrigation, there’s a lot of water on the plants – a lot of water on the roots – and this is going to encourage disease,” said Thomas Gradziel, a plant breeder. Gradziel goes with the flow when it comes to water and what it does to plants and trees. “With drip irrigation with smaller trees, we’re getting that water directly to the roots,” Gradziel said. He walked us through an almond orchard outside Winters part of a research facility for UC Davis. On the 80 acres they have 20 different varieties of trees and 30,000 seedling trees and they test those and pick the best ones based on production, quality and tolerance to adversity – things like drought and pests. “Our goal in terms of breeding new varieties is a future variety that can produce consistently 2000 pounds per two acre feet of water,” Gradziel said…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, September 20, 2021: What likely saved the General Sherman Tree from the KNP Complex Fire

California’s iconic General Sherman Tree and many other behemoth trees in Sequoia National Park were still standing Monday morning, authorities said. The KNP Complex wildfire threatened the park’s so-called Giant Forest in recent days, especially Saturday when the blaze exploded, but the trees, which are a popular tourist attraction, escaped flames. Garret said activity on the KNP Complex escalated Saturday when an inversion layer lifted and winds picked up. “The flame lengths went from 20 feet to 100 feet down to a couple feet when they hit the prescribed burn area,” he said. “The fire skirted all around the west side of the Giant Forest up there, went up past Lodge Pole and the Wuksachi Lodge.” It seemed like a miracle of sorts, but Mark Garrett, a fire information officer for the National Park Service, said there’s an explanation for why these trees survived — and that’s prescribed burns. More than 400 acres around the General Sherman Tree underwent a prescribed burn as recently as 2019, Garrett said. Prescribed burns, in which fires are set intentionally and monitored closely, can maintain the health of a forest and prevent overgrowth of vegetation that can intensify fires…

NPR, September 20, 2021: Climate Change Is Killing Trees And Causing Power Outages

On a hill in Oakland, CA, Igor Lacan looks out from under his Stetson hat at the neighborhood below and begins listing trees. “Maples to birches to plums to liquid amber,” says Lacan, horticulture advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension. “A cedar. I see some palms, and then you’ve got a monkey puzzle up here!” In between the trees is a criss-crossing web of power lines, delivering electricity to the houses below. Lacan works as an advisor for California utilities like PG&E, and he says while most of the trees seem to be flourishing, that’s not true for some nearby acacias. He points upwards to a spiral of dead bark hanging off an acacia branch. “If you can see the wood underneath, which in this case you can, that’s typically a sign that that part of the tree is dead. Which is why we didn’t stand under that branch…”

Business Insider, September 20, 2021: Heatwaves and droughts have decimated some Christmas tree crops, and industry groups are warning of impending shortages: ‘Find and buy your Christmas tree early’

You may have a harder time than usual finding a live Christmas tree this holiday season. Christmas-tree-growers in the Pacific Northwest have seen their crops decimated this year due to drought and heat waves. One grower, Mark Wonser, recently told The Oregonian that he estimates he’s lost 90% of his Christmas tree crop this year due to extreme heat. He said he planted 13,500 trees this past May, only to see nine acres scorched in the heat. Christmas trees typically take between eight and 12 years to reach maturity, meaning that the decimation of this year’s seedlings could be felt as late as 2029 and beyond. Jacob Hemphill, a grower based in Oregon City, Oregon, told The New York Times in July that his seedlings were wiped out by heat waves and that many of his mature trees were damaged too – he estimated the destruction could cost him upwards for $100,000. “The second day of the heat, it was 116. I came in the driveway that night and seen the trees were basically cooking. Burnt down to nothing,” Hemphill told Reuters…

Honolulu, Hawaii, KITV, September 20, 2021: How common is tree failure in Hawaii?

Several people are still recovering from serious injuries after a huge tree branch fell on them this weekend. The accident happened in Waikiki, but what is the likelihood of it happening elsewhere? A big tree is great for providing shade on a sunny day, but if not properly cared for and monitored, trees can also do serious damage to those underneath or around them. Along with trees losing leaves, branches will also sometimes come down naturally. “Trees they will drop branches. They do self pruning. They will have branches that die and they will drop,” said Oahu arborist Kevin Eckert. Strong winds can also suddenly bring down branches. Heavy rains can wash away soil and weaken the hold a tree has, leading to it toppling over. The collapse of a banyan branch in Waikiki was also a sudden damaging event, but the failure of the tree could have been a long time coming. according to Eckert. “Barring disease, pests, and digging – it takes time as trees grow they get larger, more exposed to wind, and their branches get longer…”

Los Angeles, California, Times, September 19, 2021: Sequoia National Park’s General Sherman tree, one of largest in the world, still safe amid growing wildfire

Firefighters battling a major wildfire in Sequoia National Park had some good news to report on Sunday: General Sherman — the giant sequoia and one of the largest living trees in the world — is still standing. The 21,777-acre lighting-sparked wildfire — dubbed the KNP Complex fire after the Colony and Paradise fires merged into one — grew by more than 3,900 acres overnight, but officials said Sunday that hundreds of firefighters have valiantly kept key areas of the forest under control. The park is east of Fresno. In an upbeat report Sunday, fire officials said they were feeling fairly confident about protecting the Giant Forest, home to thousands of towering sequoias. Numerous well-established walking trails meander through this iconic part of the park, so firefighters have been able to move around and work from multiple locations. In addition, the museum and all the infrastructure around the General Sherman tree are equipped with sprinklers, which firefighters have been running nonstop to ensure that the area stays wet. The ancient sequoia, a major tourist draw for the park, is 275 feet tall and over 2,000 years old. It is considered the largest known tree in the world by volume…

Youngstown, Ohio, Vindicator, September 19, 2021: Prune but keep your tree safe

Q: I have a large maple with a very low branch that needs pruning. The branch is about 14 inches in diameter. Can I cut it off without harming the tree?
A: Well, it depends. It depends on what tools you have to remove the branch and how you go about the pruning. A branch of this size requires the use of a chainsaw for proper removal. But, that’s just the start of planning to make the pruning cut since the branch is so large. Consider leaving the branch. Is it really in the way of something else you need the area for? Are there ways to landscape or mulch under the branch as to avoid removal? The only things to avoid is planting flowers close to the trunk and piling up topsoil or mulch around the trunk. Think of all the reasons you want to get rid of the branch compared to the possibilities of leaving it alone. Then, if the branch still requires removal, think about your ability to cut such a large branch. Pruning incorrectly can be detrimental to the tree…

Northampton, Massachusetts, Daily Hampshire Gazette, September 19, 2021: A tree worth preserving: UMass students get close-up lesson in the battle against Dutch elm disease

The patient stood approximately 80 feet high and somewhere over 17 feet in circumference at its base, depending on where you placed a tape measure. Its age? Probably close to 100 years, maybe more. To the untrained eye, this stately elm tree — known as the Grayson elm — at 111 Sunset Ave. in Amherst, looked reasonably healthy, with a full canopy of branches and leaves, though perhaps its lower bark was a little ragged. But this elm, just like so many others across the country, is battling Dutch elm disease, a plague that arrived in the U.S. in the late 1920s/early 1930s and within about five decades proceeded to destroy over 80% of the nation’s elm trees, according to some sources. The disease is caused by a fungus, spread by bark beetles that burrow into the trees; the fungus blocks water movement in a tree, causing its foliage to wilt and eventually die. The whole elm can then follow. But there are ways to fight the disease and to preserve elms, as an arborist explained last week to a group of University of Massachusetts students who gathered at the Amherst tree for a demonstration of one of the treatment methods…

Colorado Springs, Colorado, Gazette, September 20, 2021: The aspen connection: A meditation of Colorado’s favorite fall tree

Paul Rogers may go far, all the way to central Europe from his northern Utah home, but he’s never far from his muse. After all, aspens are among the world’s most widespread tree. This month in Czechia, aspens were indeed Rogers’ focus — as they have been for other scholarly retreats over his 20-plus years of research. Rogers is director of Utah State University’s Western Aspen Alliance, an informational clearinghouse for the tree garnering admiration every fall. For the start of the shimmering show in the American West, Rogers found himself abroad, studying a species different from the “quaking” one known here. But many things were the same. For one: “I never meet anyone, public or professional, who doesn’t say this is their favorite tree,” Rogers said in a Zoom call. “You know, for centuries, both in this continent where I’m sitting and where you’re sitting, people have gone to aspen forests for meditative or healing purposes…”

New York City, The Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2021: Fires in Sequoia National Forest Close Park, Threatens Giant Trees

A pair of wildfires burning in the Sequoia National Forest in California ballooned in size this week, threatening famous giant sequoia trees and prompting new evacuation advisories for the area. More than 300 firefighters were working to control the KNP Complex Fire, which includes the Paradise and Colony fires. The blazes, sparked by a lightning storm late last week, grew to 7,039 acres by Wednesday with no containment. Firefighters struggled to contain flames burning in hard-to-reach areas, and had to predominantly rely on aircraft to spread fire retardant. The Colony, the smaller of the two fires, has burned within a mile of the Giant Forest, said Rebecca Paterson, a fire information specialist for the KNP Complex Fire. The forest—home to the General Sherman Tree, the world’s largest tree—is the most famous and well-traveled of the giant sequoia groves across this part of the state. The fire could burn at least partially into the grove, which includes 2,000 giant sequoias, Ms. Paterson said. But decades of prescribed burning in the area may moderate any potential devastation. “There’s definitely reason for optimism that those treatments are going to have really good positive effects in the Giant Forest, if the Colony Fire does reach that area,” she said…

Seattle, Washington, KUOW Radio, September 16, 2021: Seattle voters back stronger tree protections in recent poll

Supporters of stronger tree protection regulations in Seattle say most voters are on their side, according to newly released poll results. They’re hoping the findings help spur a long-awaited city ordinance. In July, the Northwest Progressive Institute surveyed 617 likely Seattle voters about issues in the primary election. They also asked voters about tree canopy. Of the people surveyed, 81% said they support stronger rules requiring developers to keep more existing trees, and 82% want increased tree planting in low-income neighborhoods (82%). Institute Director Andrew Villeneuve said these questions got the most favorable response of any issue in the survey. “Those are really robust findings – anytime you have a poll finding up in the 80s in total, which we do in this case, it really shows that voters have reached an accord in terms of where they are on the issue.” A slightly smaller majority supported specific proposals like adding tree replacement requirements, and creating a city tree planting and preservation fund. Creation of a permitting process for removal of significant trees had the narrowest support, at 57%…

Boulder, Colorado, Weekly, September 16, 2021: Core values—Boulder’s unique apple corps IDs heirloom trees, harvests backyard fruit and turns fruit into hard cider

If you haven’t noticed it yet in the heat and haze of our prolonged summer, Boulder’s apple trees are in their ninth month. They are limb-breaking-ly heavy with fruit and the black bears are loving it. Early rain, prolonged heat and lack of a killer freeze means an epic year for apples, and this is the big apple week in Boulder. This week, the Boulder Apple Tree Project is tagging hundreds of historic heirloom trees while Community Fruit Rescue is harvesting backyard trees to supply food banks, and if you bring your home-harvested apples to BOCO Cider, they’ll transform them into delicious hard cider. You could also bake a pie. How did Boulder end up so overloaded with apple trees? That simple question inspired Katharine Suding—a University of Colorado professor and scientist—to form a multi-disciplinary team to answer it, says Amy Dunbar-Wallace, project coordinator for the Boulder Apple Tree Project. Basically, if you now live in a neighborhood from North Boulder to south of Table Mesa, your front lawn used to be a fruit orchard…

Houston, Texas, KHOU-TV, September 16, 2021: World’s largest tree wrapped in fire-resistant blanket as California wildfires rage

Firefighters wrapped the base of the world’s largest tree in a fire-resistant blanket as they tried to save a famous grove of gigantic old-growth sequoias from wildfires burning Thursday in California’s rugged Sierra Nevada. The colossal General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest, some of the other sequoias, the Giant Forest Museum and other buildings were wrapped as protection against the possibility of intense flames, fire spokeswoman Rebecca Paterson said. The aluminum wrapping can withstand intensive heat for short periods. Federal officials say they have been using the material for several years throughout the U.S. West to protect sensitive structures from flames. Homes near Lake Tahoe that were wrapped in protective material survived while others nearby were destroyed. The Colony Fire, one of two burning in Sequoia National Park, was expected to reach the Giant Forest, a grove of 2,000 sequoias, at some point Thursday. It comes after a wildfire killed thousands of sequoias, some as tall as high-rises and thousands of years old, in the region last year…

Durango, Colorado, Herald, September 15, 2021: City of Durango cuts down cottonwood; residents hold ‘funeral’ for tree’s demise

Residents of the Animas City neighborhood gathered Wednesday in north Durango to hold a “funeral”/protest over the removal of a large cottonwood tree that was cut down Wednesday morning by the city. “My tax dollars are going toward bringing this beautiful tree down right now, and that breaks my heart,” said Jules Harris, a resident of the Animas City neighborhood. The tree, near the corner of 32nd Street and East Third Avenue, was removed to make way for the Animas River Trail underpass project. Several residents advocated on behalf of keeping the tree. About 20 people showed up Wednesday morning, many wearing black and holding “R.I.P.” signs as it was cut down. Some protesters shed tears…

New York City, The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2021: Christmas Tree Sellers Hit by Supply-Chain Disruptions

Supply-chain disruptions will make decking the halls more expensive than ever for consumers looking for artificial trees this Christmas.Some U.S. retailers are raising prices by 20% to 25% to keep pace with skyrocketing shipping costs and they are warning that certain trees could sell out early because deliveries from overseas producers have been hit by the congestion that has tied up distribution networks from ports in China to freight yards in Chicago. Balsam Hill, a Redwood City, Calif., company that sells medium- to high-end trees online and in stores, is raising prices by 20% on average, with list prices for some of its trees pushing close to and beyond the $1,000 level it charges for its premium trees. “We’ve never raised prices anywhere close to that in our history and will make way less money,” said Mac Harman, the firm’s chief executive. The company’s 7 ½-foot tall Brewer Spruce with clear LED lights is listed at $999 this year, up from $899 last Christmas. Its 4½-foot tall Grand Canyon Cedar tree with clear fairy lights will list at $499, up from $300 last season, as soon as it is in stock…

Seattle, Washington, KING-TV, September 15, 2021: Montlake residents breathe sigh of relief after hazardous tree removal

Two large poplar trees that once stood in Seattle’s West Montlake Park are gone after one fell naturally and the other was removed by the city. “There was sort of a relatively minor wind storm and this tree just fell in the water,” Caleb Wilkinson said. Residents who live in the neighborhood, adjacent to the Seattle Yacht Club, urged the city to consider removing the trees that sit at the edge of the water overlooking Portage Bay. One of the trees overturned and fell into the water in early August, according Wilkinson, who along with fellow neighbors, discovered the fallen tree the next morning after they assumed it fell. The fallen tree barely missed a park bench. “I call it a dead body in the water, it’s a huge poplar tree,” said Caleb’s father, Rob Wilkinson, who said he has lived in the neighborhood for at least 40 years. Wilkinson guesses each poplar weighs at least a dozen tons and was concerned if children were near the water…

Houston, Texas, KPRC-TV, September 16, 2021: How to clean up tree debris after a storm

Removing a tree can be a very stressful process. Without insurance, the average price per tree costs between $700 to $1200. There are a few good reasons why experts say it’s best to leave it to them. On Wednesday, KPRC 2 tagged along with a company called Nature’s Tree Removal of Houston as they began day one of a three-day job removing seven pine trees from a yard. The homeowner said he was fearful that future storms could bring the trees down onto his house. Some homeowners left with dead trees after Hurricane Nicholas may not have a choice, but arborist Adrian Arechiga said it’s important to have an expert come out to be sure the tree is actually dead and not just in need of proper care. “You could inject the ground with fertilizer. There’s a lot of things you could do to make the tree come back to life,” Arechiga said. For those still needing to rid your yards of thin twigs and branches, there are some important steps to take…


Essex, Connecticut, Patch, September 13, 2021, Tree Controversy Ensues In Essex

According to long-time Essex Tree Warden Augie Pampel, if a formal complaint is received involving the removal of a tree in town, he must call a public hearing on the issue. That is exactly what has happened regarding a large tree set to come down at 36 Main Street in downtown Essex. One resident sent an email to Pampel contesting the removal of this tree. Others have taken to The People of Essex Facebook page to express concerns for and against the tree’s removal, questioning if the tree is healthy or diseased and if it is dangerous or not? One post reads, “Looks like they have some nice new ones planned on either side of the tree. I doubt they aren’t cutting the tree down without having a good reason…”

Los Angeles, California, KCBS-TV, September 13, 2021: Large Tree Falls Onto Woman’s Car As She Is Driving In Valley Village Neighborhood

A woman is recovering Monday after a huge tree came crashing down as she was driving in Valley Village. The accident happened Sunday near West Huston Street at about 11:40 a.m. The woman was approaching Huston when the giant tree fell over and landed on her car. The woman was able to get herself out of her car, and witnesses say she seemed OK – but she was taken to a hospital as a precaution. The tree’s fall ripped its roots out of one side of the street and left it sprawled across the roadway, on top of the car, and its branches in the bed of of a parked pick-up truck that was unoccupied at the time. Neighbors were stunned by the tree’s collapse, but some were not…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, September 14, 2021: Dogwood, tupelo, ironwood: Meet the best native trees for Chicago-area yards, with biodiversity in mind

Removing a tree, whether because of storm damage, disease, pests or decay, is a loss — but it’s also an opportunity. “When you replace a tree, you have a chance to choose a species that will diversify your neighborhood,” said Julie Janoski, Plant Clinic manager at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. In the past, communities and homeowners have planted too many of the same kinds of trees — especially elms, ashes and maples. “That made our elms and ashes sitting ducks for disease and pests,” she said. “Now we know that planting many different species can prevent one single problem from killing off so many of our trees.” Janoski recommends that before selecting a new tree, homeowners take a walk and note the species that are already growing along nearby streets and in neighbors’ yards. “You’ll probably notice a high concentration of some kinds of trees, such as honey locusts and maples,” she said. “For your own yard, mix it up by choosing a kind of tree you don’t see growing nearby…”

Lincoln, Nebraska, Journal Star, September 11, 2021: Sarah Browning: Fall is best time to plant new trees

Fall is the best time of year to plant new trees, from early September through late October. Fall’s cooler temperatures and increased rain allow trees to establish their root systems quickly, giving them a jump-start on spring growth. Tree root growth continues late in fall, until soil temperatures drop below 40 degrees. But growing healthy trees that will provide beauty, shade and wind protection for your property long-term, means getting them off to a good start by avoiding common problems at planting. More than ever before, tree experts know that half the battle in long-term tree success is addressing potential problems before the tree is in the ground. What problems, you ask? Isn’t the tree I bought in perfect condition to be planted? Maybe. But increasingly the horticulture industry recognizes that production methods we use to grow trees in containers or in the field can cause problems for trees down the road…

Denver, Colorado, KUSA-TV, September 7, 2021: Here’s how investigators found the tree that started the Black Mountain Fire

After determining that lightning ignited the Black Mountain Fire, investigators have shared photos of the tree where they think the fire began. Images shared Friday show a tree struck by lightning that investigators say caused the fire. The bark and wood had separated from the tree, and the tree was split at the bottom, common evidence of a lightning strike. With the Black Mountain Fire burning just a few miles away from the East Troublesome Fire burn scar, many have wondered why the cause of this new fire was found so much faster. The East Troublesome Fire, which ignited Oct. 14, 2020, was determined to be human-caused, but fire officials have not released any further information. Mike De Fries, spokesperson for the incident management team working the Black Mountain Fire, emphasized that he could not speak to the cause of the East Troublesome Fire. However, he explained that determining the cause of the Black Mountain Fire fire in less than a week was possible because of a number of specific circumstances…

Madison, Wisconsin, Capital Times, September 6, 2021: Must love trees: Arbor Systems thrives on teamwork and tree passion

When Jeff Olson met a guy in Hoyt Park and caught a ride with him to Texas in 1981, he was a 19-year-old Madison West High School graduate with a backpack in his lap and $150 in his pocket. When he returned 15 years later, he was a trained horticulturist and the founder of a successful Dallas tree care business that trimmed and removed trees for the likes of future president George W. Bush and business magnate Ross Perot. When he moved back to Wisconsin with his wife and kids, he’d sold the company. He planned to take a year off to consider his options; he liked working with trees, but the years he’d spent climbing had worn him out. After so long away, he was eager to spend a winter deer hunting. But on a hunting trip in Barneveld, on that first winter back home, he fell from a deer stand. The accident left him paralyzed from the chest down — and unsure what was next…

San Jose, California, Mercury News, September 7, 2021: Majestic sequoia trees can live for thousands of years. Climate change could wipe them out

Almost everything about a sequoia tree is giant: It can grow to more than 200 feet tall and live longer than 3,000 years. Yet the sequoia’s footprint is shrinking, as human-induced climate change threatens this ancient tree’s survival. Sequoias were once found across the Northern Hemisphere, but today, they only naturally grow across the western slopes of the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. So when the Castle Fire broke out in August 2020, and merged with another fire to tear through more than 174,000 acres over four months, the loss was something even experts didn’t think possible — somewhere between 7,500 to 10,600 mature giant sequoias were destroyed, according to a report by the National Park Service, published in June. That’s 10-14% of the entire world’s population of mature sequoias — a big chunk of history up in flames. “They stood for a couple of thousand years before ancient Rome, before Christ,” Clay Jordan, superintendent of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, told CNN. “I mean, these trees were mature.” There are only around 48,000 acres of sequoia groves left in the world, and the trees are now facing threats from human-made climate change in several ways…

Chicago, Illinois, WBBM-TV, September 7, 2021: Logan Square Woman Fights To Save 100-Year-Old Catalpa Tree Set To Be Cut Down For Water Pipe Replacement, And Other Trees Like It

This story is about one tree, but a tree that represents a bigger problem. A Logan Square resident is fighting to save a catalpa tree on her street, even though the city says workers need to replace water pipes and thus, the tree has to go. As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported, things may now be on pause – at least for the time being. The tree is about 100 years old. Emma Poelsterl is on a mission to save it, and her alderman is now helping the fight too. “Some people have stopped and looked up for quite a while,” Poelsterl said. People gaze skyward at the catalpa’s canopy because of a note that Poelsterl taped to its trunk about a week ago. The note informed neighbors and passersby that the tree was slated to be chopped down by Chicago’s Bureau of Forestry. Poelsterl put up the note after getting a notice from the city saying the tree was “hindering progress” and “must be removed” because of upcoming work on the water pipes below. “I started to get passionate about not only this tree – which I love dearly and is very personal to me – but also thinking about all the mature trees of Chicago,” she said…

Omaha, Nebraska, World, September 5, 2021: Mulhall’s, Keep Omaha Beautiful work together to encourage residents to plant trees

With the fall planting season approaching, the Omaha community is looking to replace trees that fell in the July 10 storm. One local garden center is supporting the effort and encouraging the community to do the same. In the weeks after the storm, for every tree sold at Mulhall’s Garden + Home, the company donated $10 to Keep Omaha Beautiful in support of the Trees for Omaha initiative. With more than $4,100 toward the effort, that’s enough to support the supplies, labor and other costs to plant roughly 20 additional trees in public parks and right-of-ways across the community and maintain them during their critical first year of establishment. Keep Omaha Beautiful estimates that over their lifetime, the additional trees will sequester 185,715 pounds of CO2, prevent 333,835 gallons of storm-water runoff and remove 600 pounds of air pollutants…

Little Rock, Arkansas, Democrat Gazette, September 4, 2021: Large tree shedding leaves could benefit from extra water, but is not cause for concern

Q: Our very large post oak is dropping brown leaves. How much water is enough?
A: Large trees can use copious amounts of water. Some parts of our state have had little rainfall the past month. Starting to water now to make up for dry conditions will help but not stop early leaf shed. The fact that the tree is dropping leaves is a good thing. It just means it is shutting down its season a tad early. Post oaks are usually pretty tough. We are definitely seeing signs of drought stress in landscapes across Central Arkansas, especially in yards that have had no supplemental watering…

Miami, Florida, WSVN-TV, September 5, 2021: Tree planted in pothole to protest road conditions on Fort Myers street

Someone in Fort Myers took matters into their own hands when they planted a tree in a pothole to protest the roadway’s poor conditions. Area residents were surprised to find the outlandish sight in the middle of the road earlier this weekend. “They literally put a whole tree in the middle of the road,” said a resident. “I pulled up, and I’m like, ‘Is that really a tree in the middle of the road?’” said Fort Myers resident John Hulker. “I took two takes. I was like, ‘What? What? What is this?’” said local business owner Scott Shine. “Me and my wife started instantly laughing,” said area resident Nicholas Angus. But the tree is no laughing matter, and neither is the pothole where it’s growing. Cars driving down this road have to either veer left or right to get around the tree — just like they have to do if they see the pothole in time. “The tree is actually kind of making it harder to get around the next pothole that’s right next to it,” said Angus, “because I usually just drive over the pothole, but now that there’s a big tree, you can’t drive through a big tree…”

Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, September 5, 2021: Plant Primer: Bur oak trees boast acorns that mature in autumn

The bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) is a noble native tree. This oak has large (5- to 9-inch-long), dark-green leaves. The base fiddle-shaped leaves have deep, rounded sinuses. The acorns are most notable for the deep-fringed cups, with only a small portion of the nut showing. The acorns mature in one season, ripening in early- to mid-autumn. The common name is due to the acorns’ resemblance to the spiny bur (or husk) of the chestnut. The bark is a grayish-brown color, with deep ridges and vertical fissures. Bur oaks have an open canopy with a large trunk that supports horizontal limbs. This tree will often be wider than it is tall, making it a great tree for large spaces and less suitable for a small garden. The bur oak is tolerant of many soil conditions, even the occasional drought or flood…

Asheville, North Carolina, Citizen-Times, September 2, 2021: What is the fall foliage forecast for Western North Carolina’s mountains? Experts weigh in

Local experts say the leaves in Western North Carolina are on track to reach their peak yellows and oranges that draw tourists to Western North Carolina in mid-October. “The trees are in good shape, and the leaves look nice. It depends now what the weather does through September and early October,” said Howard Neufeld, professor of plant eco-physiology at Appalachian State University in Boone, who also runs the “Fall Color Guy” Facebook page. The National Weather Service predicts slightly above-average temperatures during the week of Sept. 5 with highs in the low 80s and lows in the high 50s, low 60s. Asheville’s average temperatures in September are about 79 degrees at the highest and 58 degrees at the lowest, according to a National Centers for Environmental Information weather analysis from 1991-2020. Climatologist Rebecca Ward with the State Climate Office, said temperatures should be to their average point by mid-September. But if warm weather persists through the month, not only would WNC’s fall colors be delayed, but the tones could also be less vibrant, Ward said…

Tampa, Florida, Tampa Bay Times, September 2, 2021: Huge tree growing in kitchen didn’t stump Gulfport buyers

“Keep Gulfport Weird” is practically a town motto, found on bumper stickers all over, so it’s fitting that a home listing there landed on the “Zillow Gone Wild” Facebook page. Look past the marble countertops and waterfront view, and there is a giant tree growing in the kitchen with its top sprouting through the roof. Now that tree has new owners, Greg and Linda Simek, who bought the 2,874 square-foot waterfront house for $899,000. Questions like “How did this happen?” and “What are you going to do with that thing in your kitchen?” can finally be answered. The family of Michelle Pillucere Clark, 53, a hair stylist in downtown St. Petersburg, lived in the home from 1963 until 1983. She was not happy with snotty comments online about a house her father thought of as a piece of art…

Denver, Colorado, Colorado Public Radio, September 2, 2021: The Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project Preserves History Of Apples For The Future

The Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project can be described as many things: an agricultural project, an economic development project, a history project — even an apple scavenger hunt. Jude and Addie Schuenemeyer founded MORP in 2014. It has several orchards in Montezuma County. The Schuenemeyers’ own orchard and nursery in McElmo Canyon grows more than 200 different apple varieties. One of their main goals is to preserve every kind of apple grown in Colorado. Sometimes that involves a treasure hunt — like the Schuenemeyers when he set out to find the Thunderbolt apple. Jude Schuenemeyer said he’d originally seen it in a real estate guide for the Montezuma Valley from the early 1900s. The guide said it grew well on the land and was beloved by the people who lived there. So he did some digging, talking to people who live in the area where it was grown. He eventually found the Thunderbolt in the remnant of an old orchard, but it still took a while before they were able to confirm it was the real deal. “We went and took cuttings and grafted all of them and then started growing them out here,” Schuenemeyer said, gesturing to his orchard where heritage apple trees are spaced far apart to give their root systems room to grow. “And over time we recognized one of those apples matched a Thunderbolt that we had gotten from a place north of Cortez…”

Knoxville, Tennessee, WBIR-TV, September 1, 2021: Historic white oak tree in South Knoxville toppled by storms

A family in South Knoxville is cleaning up after storms knocked over a massive and historic white oak tree dating back to the early roots of the United States of America. Leigh Ann Dickert said the tree fell after powerful storms from Ida’s remnants moved through Knoxville Monday night, and it nearly fell on top of her and her husband. “In the storms two days ago, we heard a little crack, and my husband stepped outside and saw the big shadow start to fall and started running and yelled to me to get away. It all happened so quickly that I couldn’t move,” she said. “It grabbed the power lines and fell… and he was able to move far enough away… it brushed the back of his leg and fell six feet from me.” Dickert said the white oak was one of the oldest trees in Tennessee, dating back to 1787 when it was planted in honor of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. “It is the second-oldest white oak in the state,” Dickert said. “This tree is very near and dear to us…”

Kitchener, Ontario, Daily Record, September 1, 2021: More care for our old trees, please!

Our trees and forests have had a punishing year: wildfires in the west, thawing Arctic permafrost that creates “drunken forests” of dead trees, and an exploding gypsy moth caterpillar population stripping trees bare. Land speculators and private owners chop down “inconvenient” trees that stand in the way of human construction. Vancouver Island’s Fairy Creek has become the latest threatened old growth forest facing clear-cutting despite very vocal and active blockades trying to protect them. Inspiring stories keep popping up about people around the world taking on mass tree-planting and restoration projects to rehabilitate disturbed land. Even though they bring back wildlife and lower the ambient temperature of the area, new forests do not provide equal eco-services as old growth forests. Because trees both emit and store carbon, NASA is mapping forest cover around the globe to try and understand the net carbon budget. A study published in Science Advances this year found “gross emissions and removals in the tropics were four times larger than temperate and boreal ecosystems combined,” indicating global differences…

Detroit, Michigan, Free Press, September 1, 2021: DTE Energy to spend another $70 million on tree trimming to prevent outages

DTE Energy — which is under fire from customers, consumer groups, municipal leaders, the state attorney general, governor, and utility regulators — announced Wednesday it is spending $70 million more to remove trees and trim branches to curb power outages. In addition, DTE President and CEO Jerry Norcia vowed the power company “will do what it takes to protect Michiganders from power outages caused by catastrophic storms and extreme weather patterns.” The announcement comes nearly two weeks after DTE said it “voluntarily issued” $100 credits as a one-time courtesy to business and residential customers who lost power for several days. This summer, customers and consumer groups have been demanding better service from the utility, and sharply criticized what it considered high rates and executive compensation, and low reliability…

Oakland, California, East Bay Times, August 31, 2021: Caldor Fire: Why Lake Tahoe’s forests face so much fire  danger

The Caldor Fire threatening communities and breathtakingly scenic landscapes around Lake Tahoe — a destination that Mark Twain once called “the fairest picture the whole earth affords” — is a dramatic, unfolding disaster. But the conditions that led to the evacuation of more than 50,000 people around the famed alpine lake’s south and western shores — where embers rain down on rustic communities and soot chokes the normally pristine mountain air — didn’t spring up this week, this month or this year. They are the culmination of more than 150 years of decisions that people made to unwittingly set the stage for today’s catastrophe, experts say. “We are in an emergency crisis throughout the Sierra,” said Susie Kocher, a forestry and natural resources adviser for the University of California Cooperative Extension in South Lake Tahoe. Kocher, her husband, dog and cat evacuated their home in nearby Meyers on Monday to stay with relatives near Sacramento. Before she moved to the Tahoe area 15 years ago, she lived in Greenville, a small town in Plumas County. Nearly all of Greenville burned to the ground last month when the Dixie Fire raged through the northern Sierra Nevada’s forests…

Forbes, September 1, 2021: One In Three Tree Species Face Extinction, Study Finds

A third of the world’s trees are at risk of extinction as climate change and extreme weather events takes their toll, according to a new study. The State of the World’s Trees report by the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) warns that 17,500 tree species – around 30% of the 60,000 around the world – are currently at risk of extinction. It adds more than 440 tree species are right now on the brink of extinction, meaning they have fewer than 50 individuals remaining in the wild. These species are found all over the world, from the Mulanje cedar in Malawi, with only a few remaining individuals on Mulanje Mountain, to the Menai whitebeam found only in North Wales, which has only 30 trees remaining. The report comes after wildfires have recently destroyed forests in California, Greece and Canada. “This report is a wake-up call to everyone around the world that trees need help,” said BGCI secretary general, Paul Smith…

Portland, Oregon, The Oregonian, August 30, 2021: These 10 trees promise beautiful fall color in Oregon

When trees get dressed with the colors of fall, it’s time to go shopping for a new addition to the garden. “If you’re specifically interested in fall color, it will soon be the time to start looking,” said Neil Bell, horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. “Trees will start to display color in the next few weeks.” First, though, Bell recommends doing some research. Walk around neighborhoods, parks and public gardens to get ideas. If you can’t identify the trees you like, snap good photos, pick up several leaves or ask the owner for a cutting. Take them to the nursery or to your local OSU Extension office for identification. You can also cut out pictures from magazines and flip through garden books to find possibilities. But wait, you’re not done. After filtering down your favorites, be absolutely sure about size, soil and sun requirements, Bell said. You don’t want to be stuck with a 60-foot tree where a 30-foot tree should have gone…

Boston, Massachusetts, WBUR Radio, September 1, 2021: Tell Us About A Tree You Love. How Does It Benefit You And The Environment

Trees are among the planet’s strongest warriors in the fight against climate change. We walk by them, perhaps pausing in their shade or noticing their beauty. We rarely pause to calculate how much pollution they’re removing from our air, how much oxygen they produce, or how much carbon dioxide they are guzzling and storing away. There’s a growing body of research that suggests trees not only benefit our planet, but also our physical and mental well-being. We want to know about the trees you care about, why they’re special to you and how you think they benefit you or your neighborhood. We hope to share your stories at wbur.org and on social media. To participate, email WBUR multi-platform editor Meghan Kelly (meghan@bu.edu) a photo or two of your favorite tree along with a short explanation about how it helps you, your loved ones or your neighborhood. Note: Please include “tree project” in the subject line. We prefer horizontal images, if you can pull it off, but we get that trees are vertically shaped…

Vancouver, British Columbia, CTV, August 30, 2021: With ocean views at stake, B.C. man snuck onto neighbour’s multi-million dollar property to cut tops off trees

A West Vancouver homeowner has been ordered by a B.C. court to keep off his neighbour’s property and pay her $48,000 after he cut the tops off of her cedar trees. The ruling follows a multi-year spat between two families who lived next door to each other in newly-constructed homes with private outdoor swimming pools and ocean views, both located on multi-million dollar properties in one of Canada’s wealthiest postal codes. Erminia Minicucci had her home custom-built in a residential area of a West Vancouver hillside with plans to stay for the long term and retire there, read court documents. But with her neighbours, Yang Liu and Ying Liang, also building their home on the lot above hers, she worried about her privacy. So in July 2017, Minicucci paid landscapers $38,000 to plant 28 trees along the property line she shared with Liu and Liang. Nearly a year later, Liu complained to Minicucci and her husband that the trees, a mix of 10-foot tall and 25-foot tall cedars – which had by then grown by three feet – were interfering with the view from his three-storey home. Liu asked if he could trim the trees. The Minicucci’s said no… Liu didn’t take the Minicucci’s no for an answer. Instead, when his neighbours were on vacation in the summer of 2018, he snuck onto their property with a ladder and lobbed the tops off “numerous” trees, says the ruling…

Buffalo, New York, News, August 30, 2021: State Canal Corp. wants to hear from residents on tree-cutting policy

Three years after clear-cutting of trees on Erie Canal embankments was halted by court order, the New York State Canal Corp. is seeking public comment on a written policy on tree removal. The policy would cover 125 miles of embankments all over the state, including about 60 miles between Lockport and Rochester. Up for comment until Oct. 15 are a maintenance guidebook and a generic environmental impact statement that says the Canal Corp. will “remove trees and brush smaller than 3 inches in diameter at breast height that impede inspections, and trees larger than 3 inches that are dead, diseased, and imminently dangerous to property and people.” The impact statement said that the Canal Corp. decided against clear-cutting trees along the 524-mile canal system. The trees grew up wild since the original canal was upgraded to the Barge Canal a little more than 100 years ago, Canal Corp. spokesman Shane Mahar said. Tree removal plans may run afoul of habitat for endangered species or local zoning codes and comprehensive plans that may apply to the canal banks, said James Candiloro, director of environmental health and safety for the Canal Corp…

National Geographic, August 31, 2021: Why city trees can be good for kids’ brains

With three kids under eight years old, New York City parents Kimberly and Sam Leopold made proximity to nature the top must-have during their recent apartment search. “We spend time in a park two or three times a day,” says Kimberly, who lives in a 750-square-foot South Harlem apartment with her husband and daughters. “Honestly, it’s a matter of survival. The kids are just happier when they can play and explore outdoors.” And it turns out that a regular infusion of nature—in particular, seeing and being around trees—could help bolster kids’ thinking and reasoning skills, too. A recent British study of more than 3,500 city-dwelling children and teenagers from across London found that having a higher daily exposure to woodlands (basically, places with trees) can help kids’ cognitive development. The good news is that kids can—and should—get a daily dose of trees and other nature even if your family lives in a city or suburb, says Tim Beatley, founder and executive director of Biophilic Cities, which advocates for future cities in which residents are surrounded by nature…

Austin, Texas, KXAN-TV, August 30, 2021: People with nut allergies may really be sensitive to birch pollen, study finds

Nut allergies have led to food policy changes in schools, airplanes, and workplaces around the country. For some, allergic reactions can be potentially fatal. But are all nut allergies created equal? According to a new study, most people diagnosed with a nut allergy may actually only have a sensitivity to birch pollen. Tree nut allergies are among the most common food allergies in both children and adults. The six tree nut allergies most commonly reported are sensitivities to walnut, almond, hazelnut, pecan, cashew and pistachio. When a person with an allergy to a particular tree nut is exposed to that tree nut, proteins in the nut bind to specific antibodies made by the person’s immune system. This binding triggers the person’s immune defenses, leading to reaction symptoms that can be mild or very severe…

Boston, Massachusetts, Globe, August 26, 2021: Northampton residents sue city over alleged improper removal of cherry trees

On July 29, the city of Northampton cut down the row of Kwanzan Japanese cherry trees that lined Warfield Place, despite strong opposition from those who live on the street. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Hampshire Superior Court, says that the city violated state law by refusing to hold a public hearing before the trees came down. In an interview with the Globe last month, Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz said the city did not have to hold such a hearing as state law allows for an exemption from the requirement for a project like the one on Warfield Place. The tree removal is part of a multi-street paving program planned by the city. The lawsuit also claims that the city took down the trees “without any prior warning” despite previously informing neighbors that they would be notified of any times when parking is prohibited. Instead, residents say that members of the Northampton police department, fire department, and Department of Public Works arrived without any warning on the morning of July 29 with tow trucks to begin clearing the trees. That same day — and just hours after the city workers had arrived on the street — Warfield Place residents obtained a temporary restraining order to prevent the city from cutting and removing the trees before an official hearing was held…

On the corner of Burrows and Allyn streets is a fortress of towering hedges and intertwining maple, oak and pine trees so thick, it’s easy to miss the small yellow house within when driving by. Daniel Sims, the owner, stopped mowing his lawn years ago to form what he calls his “bird sanctuary.” Following Tropical Storm Henri on Aug. 22, Sims discovered that one side of a large white pine in his backyard had split and fallen on top of neighboring trees and his shed. “I didn’t see or hear it fall,” he said. Sims, like most Connecticut residents, loves trees, which provide shade and privacy, but rarely thinks twice about trimming or removing them — that is, until severe weather is forecast. About 60% of the state is forested and 73% of that is owned by individuals, families, land trusts, Native American tribes and corporations, according to the state. Municipalities own an additional 9%, and the rest is state owned and includes forests in state parks and along highways. Ownership, however, is not always clear and maintenance is not always easy, especially when tree removal is costly and there has been a rising number of dying trees in the state due to widespread aging and pests…

Saranac Lake, New York, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 26, 2021: State of the tree

Edwin McGrath is walking around the village this week looking at trees. He’s an arborist with the urban forestry consulting company ArborPro Inc., which has been contracted by the village of Saranac Lake to take a census of all the leafy and piny growth within the 2.78-square-mile village limits. The data he collects will be used to create a forest management plan. The village will use this plan to care for its trees in the coming years as it looks to plant more in the downtown corridor and in village parks. The plan will also outline how the village will combat invasive species, remove and plant trees, and keep its streets green. “There’s a lot of benefits to an urban forest, the aesthetics of it, shade — it helps keeps things cooler — stormwater capture,” village Community Development Director Jamie Konkoski said. “It’s really valuable.” The village was awarded $12,800 by the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Urban and Community Forestry Program for this survey and plan. The $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant the village won in 2018 also includes some funding to increase the number of trees planted downtown…

St. Louis, Missouri, Post-Dispatch, August 29, 2021: Be sure to expose root flare when planting tree

Q. I am planning on having some trees planted this fall, but I don’t know much about plants. How do I make sure that my trees are being planted properly?
A. One of the most common mistakes when planting a tree is planting it too deep and not exposing the root flare. This is the point where the tree’s trunk widens above the soil line and indicates where the trunk ends and the root system begins. To ensure the tree is planted at the proper depth, make sure that the flare is above the soil line or grade. Planting a tree too deep can cause problems such as poor root growth, reduced canopy growth or even premature death, which can occur weeks to years after planting. If your tree looks like a telephone pole growing straight out of the ground, carefully remove soil until you see the trunk taper out. Find a great diagram of how a tree should be planted according to industry standards at cityofaspen.com/DocumentCenter/View/4632/Tree-Planting-Detail-2021…

Everett, Washington, Herald, August 12, 2021: Lake Stevens neighbors mourn 1000s of trees at Costco site

The lush green backdrop residents on 93rd Drive SE once enjoyed has turned brown, hot and dusty. Costco construction is underway. “The trees are gone,” said Doug Turner, former owner of Turner’s Grocery and a member of Livable Lake Stevens. Environmental degradation is a byproduct of development, something that Livable Lake Stevens, a group that opposed the construction of Costco, attempted to prevent through a Land Use Petition Act lawsuit. Developers say they plan to plant three trees for every mature tree they cut. But not all of those will be on the Costco land off 20th Street SE. When all is said and done, nearly 2,000 will be planted on the nearly 40-acre lot. The rest, more than 3,000, will be planted elsewhere. The company, according to a memo from Costco’s wetland, stream, traffic, geotechnical and stormwater consultants, also will provide a monetary contribution to the city’s tree fund. In the meantime, the site will be canopy-deprived…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, August 9, 2021: Did you lose a tree in the June tornado? Morton Arboretum is giving away 300 replacements

When tornadoes swept through the western suburbs late on a Sunday this June, they flattened homes and buildings and also toppled or damaged uncounted trees in the leafy communities of Woodridge, Naperville, Darien and unincorporated Downers Grove Township. Soon after, the phone started to ring at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, which was just 5 miles north of where one tornado struck. The arboretum serves as a resource to give plant and tree advice in the Chicago area and homeowners were wondering what they should do, said Murphy Westwood, vice president of science and conservation. Should they replant? The Morton Arboretum announced Monday that it would give away up to 300 trees to private homeowners who lost trees in the June storms. Homeowners can request one tree per address on a first-come, first-served basis by completing a Tornado Recovery Tree Request Form set up by the arboretum. (Only those who lost a tree due to the June 20 tornadoes are eligible.) They will be notified of their selection at the end of October and trees will be delivered to communities for pickup in spring 2022. The arboretum was already on track to give away 1,000 trees next year to celebrate its 100th anniversary; 300 of those trees through the Centennial Tree Planting Initiative will now be used for tornado recovery for private homeowners, Westwood said…

Walla Walla, Washington, Union Bulletin, August 11, 2021: Public input sought on draft plan for managing city trees in Walla Walla

Would you like to weigh in on Walla Walla’s plan for managing the 7,000-plus trees in the city’s urban forest? You have until Aug. 30 to send city officials a note. Walla Walla City Council heard all about urban forest management at a recent public work session. It was here that an updated ArborPro Urban Forestry Management Plan was presented in draft state to city officials. Now the Parks and Recreation Department has opened an input period for the public to comment on the plan until Monday, Aug. 30. Input or questions can be submitted to Parks Director Andy Coleman or mailed to the department. “We’re doing the public input process right now for folks to have time to read the plan because it is 50-some pages, so it takes some time to dig into,” Coleman said. After that, the draft plan will be taken to the Parks and Recreation and Urban Forestry Advisory Board on Sept. 13. Walla Walla City Council is set to vote on the plan Sept. 22. Both meetings have opportunity for public comment…

Nature, August 12, 2021: Clouds plus trees equals cooler climes at mid-latitudes

Planting trees in the zone between the tropics and the poles creates more clouds, which help to cool the planet. Forests pull heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. In tropical regions, the trees are so dense that the resulting cooling outweighs warming from the heat absorbed by their dark foliage. But forests at higher latitudes, such as those in parts of Europe and North America, are sparser than forests in the tropics. Scientists have debated whether mid-latitude forests’ heat absorption outweighs the cooling from their CO2 absorption. Amilcare Porporato at Princeton University in New Jersey and his colleagues studied satellite data on global land cover and modelled cloud formation over various types of vegetation. They found that at latitudes between 30 and 45 degrees, clouds are more numerous, and form earlier in the day, above forests than above other types of vegetation. The extra clouds reflect additional light and mean that the forests have an overall cooling effect…

Santa Rosa, California, Press-Democrat, August 10, 2021: PG&E found no flaws with tree, power poles linked to Dixie fire

PG&E Corp. inspectors had found no problems with power lines, power poles or the tree linked to the Dixie fire raging in Northern California, according to a summary of inspection records the utility released Monday. Under investigation in connection with the fire, which has become the second largest in California history, PG&E said its crews conducted routine inspections May 13 of the two power poles located where the fire started and found nothing wrong. The last previous inspection was in December 2016. “These inspections did not result in any findings that required corrective action at or between poles 908 and 909,” the utility said. Similarly, PG&E said a Jan. 14 inspection of the tree that may have sparked the fire found no problems. The utility also released a picture from 2019 of one of the power poles “and the tree that PG&E believes to be the tree of interest.” The tree was due to be inspected again Sept. 21. The company has already reported to the California Public Utilities Commission that an employee spotted a “healthy green tree” leaning against a conductor on a pole July 13, and fire burning on the ground near the base of the tree. At 489,287 acres, the Dixie fire trails only last year’s August Complex fire, which burned just over 1 million acres. Last week, the Dixie fire destroyed most of downtown Greenville, a community of about 1,000 people in Plumas County. PG&E is under intense scrutiny over wildfires and is spending billions of dollars a year to trim tree limbs and take other corrective actions aimed at improving fire safety…

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gazette, August 10, 2021: Tree inventory helps Cedar Rapids know which trees to replant

Contractors hired after the derecho to mark damaged trees for removal put an orange X on the trunk of a Katsura tree on Blake Boulevard SE, but City Arborist Todd Fagan gave the tree a pardon. After all, it was one of only 38 Katsuras on city-owned property before the derecho and one of the biggest, with a 7-inch-diameter trunk at last measurement. Katsura trees come from Japan, but grow well in the Midwest and have peachy-gold leaves in the fall. And with subalternate buds — something only a “geeky tree guy” would know — Fagan couldn’t let the tree be cut down. “No, you’re not,” Fagan said, pointing to the orange circle he sprayed around the X last year to spare the Katsura from the chain saw. In 2015, Cedar Rapids created an inventory of all trees on city rights of way. Before the derecho, the inventory helped city employees maintain a pruning schedule, know which trees to treat for emerald ash borer and set a value of the urban forest. A city intern visits one-quarter of the trees each summer to make sure they still are standing, record new trunk size and note significant damage and disease. After the Aug. 10 storm destroyed nearly 20 percent of the city-owned trees, city staff are using the inventory to track which trees have been removed, which stumps still need grinding and which species to replant and where, Fagan said…

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, University of Illinois Extension, August 10, 2021: After the storm: Repair and care for damaged trees

Summer storms have damaged trees, some more than 100 years old, in communities across the state. Homeowners in these communities, including Woodridge and Naperville which were hit by an EF-3 tornado this summer, are now struggling to find the best ways to clean up after a tree is damaged and the proper way to restore trees and woodlands. From watching the light flicker through a tree’s green canopy in summer to enjoying the falling cascade of red, yellow, and brown leaves in the fall, trees serve as a symbol for many homeowners. Storms can damage or destroy long-living trees and the memories they carry with them. What happens after a storm damages trees? When a tree becomes damaged by a storm, or another type of disturbance, it not only affects the immediate area, but also the surrounding trees. “Trees are usually very resilient to damage,” says University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Ryan Pankau. “But when a storm or disease takes out parts of a tree, it exposes the other trees in the area differently, and you may see damage to them years down the line.” After a disturbance, sunlight can now reach the understory, which exposes the soil and creates opportunities for new plants to fill those gaps. Those gaps can be filled by younger trees or plants, but also by less desirable plants, such as invasive weedy species. And, a thinning tree canopy from storm damage can reduce a tree’s capacity to filter wind. “Trees with thicker canopies act like a sail during high winds,” says Christopher Enroth, Illinois Extension horticulture educator. “But when topped, small, new branches have a very weak attachment to the tree itself, making it less stable overall…”

Euronews, August 10, 2021: Batteries made from trees could help transform the future of electric travel

A material found in the wood of our plants is being trialled as a way to produce sustainable battery power. Finnish designers Stora Enso have built a new production facility costing €10 million that will create renewable bio-based carbon by turning trees into batteries. This will be achieved by the use of a wood-based material called lignin. The plant is based beside the company’s Sunila Mill in Kotka, southern Finland, which employs over 150 people and specialises in producing softwood pulp, and biofuels like tall oil and turpentine. The company is responsible for developing a number of wood and biomaterial-based solutions for everyday problems that require eco-friendly solutions. Their innovative product offerings range from mouldable woods to formed fiber food packaging. Not to be confused with the Swedish berry, lignin is nature’s second most common macromolecule after cellulose, deposited in the cell wall of plants to make their structure firm and woody to prevent them from rotting. It makes up around a third of all wood’s total composition…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, August 9, 2021: Why Houston’s oldest tree needs a new identity

Houston is home to a centuries-old tree in search of a new identity. Located near the corner of Bagby and Capitol streets in downtown Houston, a massive, 400-year-old tree dubbed the “Old Hanging Oak” is believed to be the city’s longest-surviving tree. With a little luck and ingenuity, it will outlive us all. What we should let die, however, is the fake story of the oak’s morbid tenure as hanging gallows. As recently as the late 20th century, legend told of nearly a dozen men hanged from its boughs when Texas was just a republic. Unfortunately for perpetuators of the myth, the truth is much different than the tale. The case is stacked against any notion that the tree was used to hang anyone. Authors Louis F. Aulbach and Linda Gorski did the research and concluded no one was ever hanged from its branches. There were other trees nearby confirmed to have hosted hangings, according to a 2006 post in Bayou City History, but not our lovely oak. A city-funded plaque dedicated in the 1990s prolonged the lie, although even it admitted that the claim was disputed at the time it was erected…

Portland, Maine, WCSH-TV, August 9, 2021: Planting a tree this fall? Start planning now

The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago. It’s an old saying, but these days you really do need to plan ahead. It is no secret that there is a major labor shortage right now. All businesses seem to be struggling to find enough people to meet demand. Landscaping contractors are no different. There are also supply issues for garden centers depending on what you are trying to find. For those reasons Tom Estabrook of Estabrook’s in Yarmouth suggests starting early if you are planning to plant a tree this fall. If you are putting in a large tree you will likely need some help. Estabrook suggests finding a contractor now and lining them up for the fall. If you are going to plant the tree yourself great! We are actually in really good shape for that right now. July was a rainy month so the ground is well watered. Typically if you plant a tree in the summer you are worried about keeping it wet enough. That shouldn’t be a major issue right now. Trees are not going to grow a lot if you plant them now they will be focused instead on rooting. For that reason Estabrook suggests you add a root stimulant to tree you are planning to put in the ground. One of his favorites, Biotone, attaches to the roots and causes them to branch. That will establish a solid root system…

Los Angeles, California, Daily News, August 9, 2021: Why you need to trim palm trees and what you need to know before you do

With their towering heights and lush green canopies, palm trees are a beloved part of Southern California’s skyline. But if they are covered with dead material that gets ignited, sometimes they light up the sky. Gary Gragg, founder of Golden Gate Palms in Richmond, called them candles covered in gasoline. “The worst thing anybody could have is a giant, never-trimmed tree that has all this dead material in it. They’re probably the most flammable things on the landscape,” said Gragg, who also hosted an HGTV series called “Superscapes” in 2009. But before they tackle trimming issues, homeowners should know if palm trees should be in their yards in the first place, according to David Guzman, Vegetation Management and Forestry manager with Southern California Edison. “A lot of people like to grow palm trees in their backyards because they have pools and want a tropical landscape. We will stress the fact that you want to put the tree in the right place,” he said in a separate phone interview. “These palm trees should not be within 50 feet of our electrical facilities.” In March, the utility announced a two-year project to remove about 11,000 palms that are too close to power lines from properties throughout its coverage area. Communities included Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, La Cañada Flintridge, Malibu, Lake Elsinore and Santa Ana. Palms are tropical plants, and most aren’t native to Southern California. There are more than 2,500 species in many shapes and sizes. Some plants thought of as palm trees are actually cycads, which reproduce via flowers…

New York City, The Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2021: The Scientific Thrill of the Charcoal Grill

The evening air here in London has acquired the distinctive signature of summer: the smell of barbecues. The sources are mostly out of sight, hidden in dozens of gardens and backyards, but on a warm evening the whiff of smoke fills entire neighborhoods. It’s distinctive because it’s the only time we burn charcoal, an ancient fuel that still has a place in a modern city. But you can burn lots of things to generate enough heat to cook food, so why is it always charcoal? It turns out that the key is the opposite of a magic ingredient—it’s more about what charcoal lacks. The starting point for most charcoal is wood, a useful fuel because it’s full of molecules that can react with oxygen and give out heat in the process. Wood is both the internal scaffolding that can hold a tree up for decades and also the tree’s plumbing and storage system. The strength comes from cellulose and lignin, long molecules with carbon backbones that form a thin wall around every cell in the tree. These molecules are what make wood useful as fuel. Each cell is a single brick in the structure of the tree, packed together tightly. The cell innards and the fluids stored in the narrow pipes that run up and down the trunk have less stored energy because they’re mostly water. When you start to heat wood to start a fire, the first thing that happens is that the water evaporates. As the temperature starts to rise further, toward 400-500°F, the lignin and cellulose start to break down, but don’t burn yet. The heat causes other molecules in the wood to escape as gases, and these burn in the air just above the wood surface. When you start a log fire, these are the flames you’re seeing: The bright flames are due to the mix of gases that are driven off the wood…

Longview, Washington, Daily News, August 7, 2021: To keep invasive insects at bay, participate in national tree check month

Before you squash that weird-looking bug, local scientists are asking people to check if it’s one of a handful of invasive species that may be on the move in Cowlitz County. Washington State University Master Gardener Alice Slusher said that “citizen scientists like you and me are the ones that have reported some of the problem ones before” they become widespread, so participating in the National Tree Check month is important. “The Invasive Species Council website is amazing, so get in there and look at all the priority insects,” Slusher said. “Some are here and we know they’re here, and some aren’t, but it’s a fun hobby.” State officials are asking people to check trees, lights, outdoor equipment and standing water in their yards for harmful bugs. Slusher said that water sources such as dog bowls, pans of water for chickens, or light fixtures are places bugs are attracted to and sometimes die in, making them good places to survey what insects are around…

Winnipeg, Manitoba, CBC, August 7, 2021: Man arrested, charged after trees on Winnipeg median cut down during house move

Police arrested a man they say was involved in cutting down or trimming about a dozen trees on the median of a Winnipeg street to make way for a large house that was being moved. At about 7 a.m. Saturday, police traffic units were facilitating the move of a large house on Roblin Boulevard, police said in a news release. The moving company had a permit to move the house out of the city, and officers confirmed the load dimensions were specified in the permit. However, police say the operator clearly hadn’t confirmed the accessibility of the route, as required in the permit. Officers in the area reported multiple trees along the route had been deliberately felled or trimmed without permission. A man associated with the move was arrested and charged with mischief over $5,000. The move was temporarily halted…

Sunbury, Pennsylvania, Daily Item, August 8, 2021: Tree Topics: ‘Topping’ breaks the rules, shortens life spans

“Topping” is the removal of a large portion of a tree’s crown to make it smaller and/or rounded. This misguided practice has reduced the life span and created hazardous situations of many shade trees throughout our community. There are three basic rules for pruning shade trees: 1. Never remove more than 25% of the leaf surface area at one given pruning (annually); 2. When reducing the size of a limb, make sure that the lateral branch (the one that you intend to leave as the new end) is at least one-third the size of the branch that you are removing; and 3. Never make a cut on a tree without a good reason (i.e. dead or rubbing limbs, branch level, house clearance, limbs with defects, etc). “Topping” breaks all of these rules. Let me explain. The physiological process of a tree’s response to a topping cut is rather simple. The leaf surface produces food through photosynthesis. The woody portions of a tree (i.e. trunk, limbs, roots) use what they need and store the surplus. When a tree is in relative good health (with adequate stored food) and it is topped, the tree will grow back rapidly (4-5 times its normal growth rate) until it recovers lost leaf surface. For example, silver maples grow between 12-16 inches each year. If you “top” it, the tree will respond by producing adventitious sprouts, commonly referred to as “suckers.” These suckers will grow 4 to 5 feet or more the next season and continue at that rate until it reaches the same size that it was before the damage. If the tree is not in good health when the damage is done, the tree may die outright. More frequently, the tree will begin a downward spiral of decline until its inevitable failure…

Open Access Government, August 9, 2021: Researchers to make trees more resilient to climate change

Six research teams across the UK will receive a share of £10.5 million to help trees adapt to climate change and capture greenhouse gas emissions. Expanding the UK’s trees, woodlands and forests will help the government to reach its net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, however, our treescapes need to become more resilient to pressures such as changing climate. The six projects, which will receive funding from UK Research and Innovation, aim to: (1) Understand how local authorities are meeting their tree planting targets, the cultural significance of trees to communities and how well they capture greenhouse gases; (2) Work creatively with young people to co-produce new approaches to creating and caring for treescapes that benefit the environment and society; (3) Investigate how trees respond to stress and pass on that memory to future generations; (4) Assess the potential of woodland restoration along over 200,000 km of England’s rivers and bodies of water; (5) Examine how community forests enable stakeholders to work in partnership to deliver multiple benefits from forests; and (6) Study whether trees can adapt effectively to climate change, pests and diseases…

Portland, Oregon, Oregon Public Broadcasting, August 5, 2021: Searching for the tree at the bottom of the world

For scientists, building a true understanding of how climate change is affecting the planet is complicated. A conversation in a Portland pub led to one solution — find the tree at the bottom of the world and see how it’s being affected by rising temperatures. The idea took root a few years ago when University of Colorado associate professor Brian Buma attended a landscape ecology conference in Portland. Afterward, he went out for a beer with Portland State University geography associate professor, Andrés Holz. Common interests had them chatting about everything from climate change to a study of the northernmost trees in Siberia. And that got them thinking. “The southern hemisphere is very understudied compared to the northern hemisphere,” Buma said. Climate change likely impacts trees at the top of the world differently from those at the bottom. The northern hemisphere is dominated by large, dry land masses, such as Russia and North America, whereas the southern hemisphere is dominated by oceans. The scientists pitched the idea of an expedition to find the southernmost tree to the National Geographic Society, which agreed to sponsor a team of a dozen scientists along with the Universidad des Magallanes in Chile. The researchers studied everything from the southernmost tree to invasive species, birds and possible ancient human settlement…

New York City, News 12, August 5, 2021: Tree in Eastchester neighborhood a dangerous hazard, neighbors say

Residents in Eastchester say a neighborhood tree is creating chaos every time a storm blows in. Denise Cox, who lives nearby, says the tree pulled down a wire last year. “As soon as it’s windy, branches come down,” she said. “A branch is going to break off and kill someone.” Neighbors say they’ve tried submitting 311 requests and calling the New York City Parks Department to remove the tree, but there’s been little progress over nearly two years. “What has to happen? Does it have to fall and kill somebody for someone to come out and take care of this tree?” Cox said. The Parks Department said in a statement, “We are sending one of our expert foresters to the site for inspection; noting, we have not directly received a request for this condition.”
An inspector checked the tree Thursday while News 12 was present. While he couldn’t speak on-camera, neighbors say he told them the department would likely come back within two days. Residents, however, remain skeptical…

<img Lihue, Hawaii, The Garden Island, July 28, 2021: Farmers tackle new threat to island coffee trees

The most-destructive disease known to the coffee plant has arrived on Kaua‘i, putting local growers on high alert. Less than one year after the state’s first reported case of coffee leaf rust occurred in Maui, the blight’s presence has now been established on all major Hawaiian islands. Coffee leaf rust, which is caused by the fungus Hemileia vastatrix, can lead to defoliation, reduced fruit size and plant death. Local grower Ben Fitt of Outpost Coffee was the first to report the disease on Kaua‘i while tending to his one-acre orchard on the North Shore in late June. “I came across some interesting markings on some of the leaves and had a look, and I was pretty certain it was coffee leaf rust,” Fitt said. Fitt immediately contacted the state Department of Agriculture, which sent a field agent to collect laboratory samples. The results came back as CLR on July 9. However, the fungus had been on Kaua‘i for at least six months prior to Fitt’s discovery, according to a department announcement released last week. No one will ever know how the rust took hold in Fitt’s orchard, which follows stringent protocols intended to mitigate the risk of infection. In addition, the state has restricted the movement of affected islands’ coffee plants and other potential hosts since CLR’s first appearance in Hawai‘i last October. Coffee leaf rust was first documented in Africa in 1861, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which claims it was next spotted in Sri Lanka six years later, where it ruined that country’s coffee production within a decade. The disease has since been found in all major coffee-producing countries. “I can only speculate as to how it got over. We took every step we can to prevent it. It’s just so contagious,” said Fitt, who hopes to destigmatize growers dealing with rust and other agricultural ills…

Charleston, South Carolina, WCSC-TV, July 28, 2021: City of Charleston and county to review applications to cut down more than 70 grand trees

People across the Lowcountry are concerned about more than 70 grand trees that could be cut down if the City of Charleston and County of Charleston’s Boards of Zoning Appeals approve the applications. According to the agenda for the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Aug. 4, there are applications submitted to remove about 75 grand trees all across the area, including Johns Island, James Island, West Ashley and Cainhoy. The agenda for the county’s Board of Zoning Appeals shows they are considering applications for the removal of eight grand trees: two on Wigeon Lane and six on Stoney Road. According to city and county codes, grand trees are protected, so in many circumstances, a developer or property owner has to get special approval to cut them down. Franny Henty, who lives on James Island, said she is actively fighting this and wants the community to help. “Get involved and let your voice be heard,” she said. “Trees are a part of the infrastructure. They need to keep in mind they’re not just taking down a tree, they’re taking down something that holds water and is beautiful and provides shade. It also has an element there that it helps with pollution and the air…”

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, July 27, 2021: Toronto agreed to buy a home to save a 250-year-old tree. Now, the seller wants a higher price

A legal battle is brewing between the City of Toronto and the property owner of a 250-year-old heritage tree refusing to sell — the latest snag in a years-long community push to protect the famous red oak. The city entered an agreement with the home’s owner, Ali Simaga, in December 2019 to purchase the North York house for $780,000 with certain conditions, including that the community raise $400,000 within a year to go toward the purchase and maintenance of the tree, according to the city’s court application filed this May. The plan was to demolish the house and transform the property into a parkette to showcase the gigantic tree, the last remnant of the ancient oak forest that once spanned the area. But that plan may now be in jeopardy, with Simaga changing his mind about the agreement after watching house prices soar throughout the pandemic. He’s now looking for the city to match the current market value of other homes in the area. “I’m afraid I’m going to be homeless with my family with this price,” Simaga told CBC News. He acknowledged they currently don’t live in the house, but rent it out, and own another house elsewhere in the city. This spring, the city requested the Superior Court of Justice to order the purchase complete and put the property title in its name. The case will be heard in October…

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, KYW-TV, July 27, 2021: ‘Everyone Keeps Passing The Buck’: Tree Threatens Philadelphia Family’s Home With No Help In Sight

A tree, which looks like it could fall on a house at any moment, is causing one South Philadelphia family many sleepless nights. They say their calls for help are falling on deaf ears. Every night this family goes to bed they pray that their home is not destroyed by a tree in their backyard that’s just barely hanging on. This mother-daughter duo reached out to CBS3 in hopes that someone will see their story and help. Right now, they say they are running out of options. Due to physical limitations, Ginny Bowen is restricted to the first floor of her home, a place she’s lived in for more than 20 years. “As long as I can take care of myself, I will. I want to stay,” she said. But is it safe? Bowen’s daughter, Cindy Candelore, shows us what they use to call their backyard. “There’s actually wires hanging in between those branches as well,” she said…

Chicago, Illinois, WBEZ Radio, July 27, 2021: A New City Agency May Try To Save Chicago’s 4 Million Trees — And Plant More

Everybody has a tree story. That’s the mantra of Michael Dugan, the Director of Forestry at Openlands, one of the main organizations that helps the city of Chicago plant hundreds of trees a year. As he walked through Douglass Park, an expansive city park on the Southwest Side of Chicago, Dugan rejoiced about the benefits of green space, and the attachments to which Chicagoans place the trees within them. “Everybody talks about a tree as they’re growing up,” he said through a smile. “… Interacting with a tree, climbing a tree, having a picnic under a tree, planting a tree with family members.” But Dugan and other environmental advocates in Chicago want residents — and the aldermen who represent them — to think more consciously about the trees they walk past in their everyday adult lives. They say that if so-called “tree inequity” — how some neighborhoods that lack resources also are lacking in tree canopies — is fixed, that could lead to better health and community outcomes. In Chicago, there are nearly 4 million trees to consider. But, until now, there hasn’t been a single city agency to oversee them in a unified way. Instead, the departments of Streets and Sanitation, Transportation, the Park District, aldermen typically field individual requests for tree trimming or tree planting by residents who need it. That’s opposed to an overall plan that looks at the environmental impacts of the trees the city plants…

New York City, The New York Times, July 26, 2021: A gnarly brown Christmas? Tree farms dry out in the Pacific Northwest.

When Jacob Hemphill pulled into the driveway at his 200-acre Christmas tree farm in Oregon City, Ore., on the second night of a record-breaking heat wave late last month, his stomach dropped. That morning, a vast field of about 250,000 green trees had adorned his property. But now, it was patched over with large swaths of singed brown. All of his seedlings were gone, and some of his mature trees, too — a tremendous loss that he estimates could cost him about $100,000. The deadly heat wave that scorched the Pacific Northwest in late June also upended Oregon’s typically prosperous Christmas tree market. More Christmas trees are grown there than anywhere else in the country, followed by North Carolina and Michigan. Farms like Mr. Hemphill’s dot the country roads southwest of Portland. But now, he said, “There’s nothing left.” Climate change was already having an impact, even before the most recent heat wave. A recent U.S. Agriculture Department report found that from 2015 to 2020, the amount of acreage in the state growing Christmas trees dropped by 24 percent as wildfires and drought reduced the harvest. Over the same time period, the average cost of Oregon trees — which are primarily sold on the West Coast — nearly doubled, the report said, from about $18 to $31 each…

Phys.org, July 27, 2021: Lack of species depth threatens mangroves

Marine ecologists have revealed mangroves might be threatened by a limited number of crustaceans, mollusks and other invertebrates for each ecological role. The international study found that low functional redundancy, or number of species performing similar roles in mangrove forests, suggests even a modest loss of invertebrates could have significant consequences. “Mangrove forests have been disappearing at alarming rates worldwide,” said Professor Shing Yip Lee from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Adjunct at Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University. “The ecological functions and services they provide depend upon the relationships between their individual plant and animal components. “There is no viable mangrove forest without a healthy community of invertebrates sustaining it.” Although mangrove ecosystems support a broad range of specialised invertebrates, little is known about the effect of deforestation and human impact on the functional diversity and resilience of these resident fauna…

Stamford, Connecticut, Advocate, July 27, 2021: Mecosta County residents should plan now for next year’s gypsy moths

Mecosta County residents saw significant tree damage from an infestation of gypsy moth this summer, leaving many asking why county and city officials were not taking action to prevent or manage the infestation.
DNR forester Cheryl Nelson recently told Big Rapids city commissioners that large-scale spraying was not necessarily the best option when dealing with gypsy moths. “The gypsy moth became naturalized in the 1990s — it became part of our ecosystem,” Nelson said. “We deal with two- to four-year outbreaks every seven to 10 years. These populations are kept in check by natural predators — the NPV (Nucleoplyhedrosis) virus and the Entomophaga maimaiga fungal pathogen.” Spraying will not eliminate the gypsy moth from an area, and large-scale spraying can have a negative impact on the gypsy moth of denaturalizing them from an area, Nelson said. “Spraying is about 80% effective and can disrupt the naturally occurring predators that control the virus on their own,” she said. “With that cycle disruption, the outbreaks may not naturally correct.” Nelson said that without the caterpillars, the viruses and the fungus that control the populations cannot be maintained, and without those, there are no natural predators there when the new caterpillars hatch out…

Fort Wayne, Indiana, WANE-TV, July 26, 2021: Invasive insect known for damaging trees found for first time in Indiana

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is reporting that the Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) has been found in Indiana. The insect turned up recently in Switzerland County in extreme southern Indiana which is the farthest west the insect has been found. This federally regulated invasive species negatively impacts plant growth and fruit production, especially in vineyards and orchards. A homeowner in Vevay contacted DNR’s Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology (DEPP) with a picture that was taken outside his home of a fourth instar, or developmental stage, larvae. DEPP staff surveyed the site and discovered an infestation in the woodlot adjacent to a few homes in the area. The site is within 2 miles of the Ohio River and the Markland Dam. DEPP and USDA are conducting an investigation to determine exactly how large the infestation is and where it could have come from, as well as how to limit the spread and eradicate the population. Spotted lanternfly is a planthopper that originated in Asia. It was first discovered in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture tried to limit the spread of this pest, but it excels at being a hitchhiker and is often spread unknowingly by humans…

Toronto, Ontario, Star, July 27, 2021: Fairy Creek protesters defend felling small trees in order to impede police

A protest group is defending the actions of its members who cut down some small trees to impede police enforcing a court injunction against blockades that have been set up to prevent old-growth logging on southern Vancouver Island. The RCMP said in a news release Saturday that protesters had cut 18 trees with chainsaws and laid the trunks across a road in the Fairy Creek watershed area. The group, dubbed the Rainforest Flying Squad, responded in a statement on Monday, saying its members cut the small, second-growth trees in order to slow police progress in reaching other protesters who were chained to structures. They say Pacheedaht First Nation elder Bill Jones, who supports the protest group, does not disapprove of their felling of small trees to protect old growth. A statement from Jones released by the group says it’s common practice in logging to cut down young trees growing at the side of roadways and that’s not a threat to ecology. The Rainforest Flying Squad says very little of the best old-growth forest remains in B.C., and the province’s temporary deferral of old-growth logging across 2,000 hectares in the Fairy Creek and central Walbran areas falls short of what’s needed. The RCMP have made 494 arrests since they began enforcing the injunction in May…

drought210726Phys.org, July 26, 2021: Extreme heat, dry summers main cause of tree death in Colorado’s subalpine forests

Even in the absence of bark beetle outbreaks and wildfire, trees in Colorado subalpine forests are dying at increasing rates from warmer and drier summer conditions, found recent University of Colorado Boulder research. The study, published in the May print issue of the Journal of Ecology, also found that this trend is increasing. In fact, tree mortality in subalpine Colorado forests not affected by fire or bark beetle outbreaks in the last decade has more than tripled since the 1980s. “We have bark beetle outbreaks and wildfires that cause very obvious mortality of trees in Colorado. But we’re showing that even in the areas that people go hiking in and where the forest looks healthy, mortality is increasing due to heat and dry conditions alone,” said Robert Andrus, lead author of the study and postdoctoral researcher at Washington State University. “It’s an early warning sign of climate change…”

Asheville, North Carolina, Citizen Times, July 26, 2021: Answer Man: Downtown bathrooms MIA? Tree of Heaven downright evil?

Update on the ‘tree-of-heaven’: Last week I fielded a question about the nefarious and invasive “tree-of-heaven,” which apparently is even more evil than I suggested. Cooperative Extension Service Agent Alison Arnold gave a good rundown on the tree, encouraging homeowners and others not to plant them and to eliminate them where possible. Andy Tait, co-director for forestry at EcoForesters, an Asheville forestry nonprofit, reached out with some “even more alarming facts about tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima),” as well as a good tip. “1. It is allelopathic, which means it exudes a chemical which inhibits other plants from growing, giving it a competitive advantage,” Tait said via email. “2. If you just cut it down, it aggressively re-sprouts from all of it’s underground roots — so literally 100s of baby trees will spring up to take over if you just cut it down and don’t use herbicide on the freshly cut stump. I’ve seen pure monoculture stands of totally worthless (both to wildlife and as timber) tree-of-heaven after disturbances without trying to control the invasive tree-of-heaven first…”

moredrought210726Vancouver, Washington, The Columbian, July 25, 2021: Proper care can help stressed trees in Clark County weather dry times

As wildfires burn across the West, many are casting a wary eye toward sun-scorched trees right here. Vancouver’s urban forester, Charles Ray, said he has been answering worried calls from homeowners ever since last month’s record heat. “The heat dome in June was unprecedented, on the heels of the driest spring on record,” Ray said. “I don’t think we know all the impacts on trees because we really haven’t experienced it before.” Michael Laster is among those who have noticed trees that look distressed and dead, with desiccated needles cascading down every time the wind gusts. “It is especially noticeable on the western sides of evergreen trees, where the needles have turned brown. Many deciduous trees also show wilted, dried and falling leaves,” said Laster, a Felida resident and Vancouver’s fire code officer. Although his expertise is in fire-suppressing sprinkler systems, Laster said he’s getting terribly worried about heat waves, wildfires and the future of local trees. “I think the concept that climate change is not happening is foolish. It’s obvious that it is. Our temperatures hit an all-time high, three days in a row. After three days, we see damage to the trees — not just a few of them but all of them,” Laster said. “And dead trees tend to burn more than live trees do…”

Plattsburgh, New York, Press Republican, July 26, 2021: Emerald ash borer and ash trees – a new approach is being taken to protect and preserve the species

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a half-inch long, green buprestid or jewel beetle. It’s an invasive insect native to Asia, believed to have made its way to the United States on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or on airplanes. EAB was first discovered in the United States in 2002, near Detroit, Michigan. Around that time, it was also found across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In 2003, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) initiated a domestic quarantine program for areas infested with the extremely destructive wood-boring pest of ash trees, but the insect still managed to progressively advance and expand its range. EAB is now present in 35 states, the District of Columbia, and 5 Canadian provinces and is responsible for the destruction of hundreds of millions of ash trees in forests, rural areas, and urban and suburban landscapes. It has become the most destructive and costly invasive forest insect in North America. States in the eastern U.S. produce nearly 114 million board feet of ash saw-timber annually, with a value of more than $25 billion. The compensatory value of the 8 billion ash trees on U.S. federal, state, and private forest land potentially infested with EAB is estimated to be $282 billion. EAB was first discovered in New York State in the spring of 2009, after two USDA Agricultural Research Service employees recognized damage to ash trees in the Town of Randolph, in Cattaraugus County…

drought210723North Bend, Oregon, KEZI-TV, July 22, 2021: Scientists Still Surveying Scope Of Tree Damage Following Heat Wave

Scientists are still trying to figure out the extent of the damage to western Oregon trees after a historic heat wave scorched leaves and needles across the state. Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Forestry are trying to map the damage, which they believe happened mostly in the Willamette Valley and coastal range west of the Cascades. Lauren Grand, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension agent for Lane County, said the sun scorched some trees and damaged tissue during the heatwave, causing them to die. Other effects are less visible and happening inside the trees which are struggling to get water, Grand said. “You’re probably going to see this if you’re going hiking in the coast range or in the Cascade Mountains on the western side. If you notice something and you want to help report the damage that’s going on, reach out to your local extension office and let us know,” Grand said. There’s also the ongoing heat and drought across the state making matters worse. “Trees can also die just outright from drought and high-heat weather. We’re just going to see a lot more… tree mortality on the landscape,” Grand said. Even trees that are typically more tolerant of droughts, like Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and Hemlock trees are starting to see issues from the conditions. Trees that manage to survive the heat and drought can in turn become more vulnerable to other ailments…

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Sun Sentinel, July 22, 2021: Real estate Q&A: Can my HOA charge me $1,000 to have a tree removed?

Q: I would like to remove a tree on our homeowner association’s property in front of my house. My association wants to charge me around $1,000 for removing the tree, stump grinding and replacing the sod. My question is, can I be charged for this procedure?
A: Landscaping on your community’s common property belongs to the community as a whole, not just the member whose home it is in front of. Your association must maintain the common areas for the entire community’s benefit, not just one member. Each homeowner pays regular maintenance dues to their association to cover the costs of running the community. In your case, you are asking to have a change made to the landscaping that only benefits your property. Your board has determined this change is acceptable for the neighborhood’s look and feel. Even so, the board does not want the cost of making your requested change shared among the entire community. When I received your email, I was a bit surprised that the board approved this, even with you paying for it. Most calls I get on similar issues involve the board flat out refusing this type of request. Removing a tree is an expensive proposition that often involves getting a permit from your city’s building department. The removal, stump grinding, and sodding are necessary to keep your community looking nice and may even be required by your local building code. Fortunately, it seems that you are living in a community with a reasonable board willing to work with individual member’s requests. Now you need to decide if it is worth spending the money to have the tree removed…

treevandal210723Little Rock, Arkansas, Democrat-Gazette, July 23, 2021: Author charged over felled trees set to surrender

A man accused of causing over $100,000 worth of damage to forestry on Central Arkansas Water land will surrender today on a warrant of arrest issued by the Pulaski County District Court. The warrant issued on Wednesday for Dennis Rainey, a Christian author, podcast host and co-founder of FamilyLife, charges him with felony first-degree criminal mischief regarding an tree-cutting incident. On May 12, Roland resident Rhonda Patton discovered the tops of some trees cut and others completely chopped down while walking along the Ouachita trail running alongside Lake Maumelle. When she asked those cutting down the trees, they told her they were working for Rainey, 73. “I was mad. My husband was shocked,” Patton told the Democrat-Gazette in May. After surveying the area, Central Arkansas Water initially determined between 75 and 100 trees were cut without knowing how many were completely chopped down. The warrant states Central Arkansas Water contact Raven Lawson, who also spoke to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, told investigators 111 trees were cut, with an approximate value of $109,899 and $12,000 being the cost for cleanup. Lawson said in an interview after the incident that many of the trees, which have taken years to grow to 20 foot heights, could die…

Louisville, Kentucky, Courier-Journal, July 23, 2021: Why do trees grow so much better in the wild than in your yard?

Many years ago when I was a University of Illinois grad student, a local resident wrote to the department’s Cooperative Extension office with a question. After a bit of a preamble, the question emerged … “How long do I need to compost fresh cricket manure before using it to fertilize my plants?” Well, those of us self-appointed to the horticultural glitterati had a good laugh. I mean I had completed a four-year college curriculum in horticulture and a whole year of grad school. These silly people and their silly questions. … Obviously, the letter writer had spent too much time in the sun. Of course what she meant to ask about was chicken manure (not an uncommon organic fertilizer), not cricket manure. Who on earth would ever amass enough cricket manure to have to worry about composting it before using it as fertilizer? Turns out, the letter writer’s son was at the time owner of the largest live fishing bait company in the eastern USA. They grew and sold about a hundred zillion live crickets a year and, well, you can imagine how much cricket manure that number of Jimminys can produce … Our dear letter writer wanted to share her botanical booty with her fellow garden club members but wanted to make sure she properly processed it before sharing it with her friends. Laugh’s on us! Some questions just need to be asked, no matter how silly they might seem on the surface…

Biloxi, Mississippi, Sun Herald, July 14, 2021: ‘A tragedy.’ Ocean Springs cuts down Live oak tree after months of controversy.

The centuries-old tree that shaded an Ocean Springs playground is no more. On Wednesday morning, the streets around Fort Maurepas Park were blocked off as a crew started sawing off the Live oak’s massive branches. The scene marked the conclusion of a months-long battle over the tree. City officials believed it was damaged during Hurricane Zeta and hired an arborist to evaluate it. In his report, arborist Ben Kahlmus recommended it be removed because it could threaten the playground that sits in its shadow. After months of deliberation, and after paying for some of the tree’s branches over the playground to be cut off, the board of aldermen voted in June to remove it. But many Ocean Springs residents still held out hope that it might be saved. They argued there was little sign that Hurricane Zeta had significantly affected the tree, and that it appeared healthy enough that it was unlikely it would suddenly come crashing down while children were playing below it. At a board of aldermen meeting on July 6, several residents spoke during the public comment period to ask the board to save the tree, but the board took no action on the issue…

OSHA Online, July 14, 2021: Updated Enforcement Guidance for the Tree Care Industry is Implemented

OSHA issued a memorandum updating its enforcement guidance for compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) when inspecting tree care and tree removal operations, according to a trade release sent out by the U.S. Department of Labor. This memorandum highlights some of the hazards that workers face while working with trees regarding care and removal operations. It also provides CSHOs with guidance on OSHA standards that address dangerous situations as well as citations under the OSHA General Duty Clause (29 USC 654(a)(1)). Addressed in the memorandum, some issues include falls, use of PPE, occupational noise exposure, machine guarding and first-aid kits. nOSHA, however, does not have a specific standard for tree care operations. The administration currently applies some standards to address the serious hazards in the industry. The tree care industry petitioned in 2008 for its own rule-making. OSHA then completed a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panel in May 2020. According to an article, the administration collected “information from affected small entities on a potential standard, including the scope of the standard, effective work practices, and arboricultural specific uses of equipment to guide OSHA in developing a rule that would best address industry safety and health concerns. Tree care continues to be a high-hazard industry…”

Bangor, Maine, Daily News, July 14, 2021: CMP denies lawmakers’ claim that it can’t meet tree-cutting requirements on corridor project

A $1 billion hydropower corridor continues to draw controversy as legislators who visited the first segment of the project in a remote part of Somerset County said Wednesday that the utility in charge of it cannot meet permit requirements, a claim the company denied. The legislators said the nature and age of the forest prevents a Central Maine Power Co. affiliate from being able to meet the tapering requirements in the permit, so tree-cutting should be stopped until protections are put into place. The New England Clean Energy Connect is one of the largest and most controversial projects in the state’s history, with many environmentalists and residents questioning its value to the state. The four lawmakers also asked the commissioner of Maine’s Board of Environmental Protection in a letter to have the board take jurisdiction over the project. The board is part of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, which issued a permit for the project, but it can enforce environmental protection laws independently. The permit requires the tree-cutting to be tapered to preserve the natural environment and wildlife, but the lawmakers said the cutting was in a straight line and wider than allowed in some areas, and that the state’s permit requirements are impossible for the project to meet…

Science News, July 14, 2021: Mixing trees and crops can help both farmers and the climate

Maxwell Ochoo’s first attempt at farming was a dismal failure. In Ochieng Odiere, a village near the shores of Kenya’s Lake Victoria, “getting a job is a challenge,” the 34-year-old says. To earn some money and help feed his family, he turned to farming. In 2017, he planted watermelon seeds on his 0.7-hectare plot. Right when the melons were set to burst from their buds and balloon into juicy orbs, a two-month dry spell hit, and Ochoo’s fledgling watermelons withered. He lost around 70,000 Kenyan shillings, or about $650. Ochoo blamed the region’s loss of tree cover for the long dry spells that had become more common. Unshielded from the sun, the soil baked, he says. In 2018, Ochoo and some neighbors decided to plant trees on public lands and small farms. With the help of nonprofit groups, the community planted hundreds of trees, turning some of the barren hillsides green. On his own farm, Ochoo now practices alley cropping, in which he plants millet, onions, sweet potatoes and cassava between rows of fruit and other trees. The trees provide shade and shelter to the crops, and their deeper root systems help the soil retain moisture. A few times a week in the growing season, Ochoo takes papayas, some as big as his head, to market, bringing home the equivalent of about $25 each time…

Boston, Massachusetts, Globe, July 13, 2021: ‘It made everybody cry’: Northampton residents push to save beloved cherry trees set to get axed in street project

Every neighbor who lives on or near Warfield Place, a quiet residential street in Northampton, seems to have a story about the cherry trees. The row of seven Kwanzan Japanese cherry trees sits right outside Lois Ahrens’s kitchen window. Ahrens, 74, said they have been an “integral” part of her life during the more than 23 years she’s lived on Warfield Place. Cecilia Shiner, 38, remembers introducing her newborn baby to her neighbors beneath the cherry trees eight years ago. Meg Robbins, 70, still has memories of taking her children to see the trees when they were young. Her kids would hug them as a sign of their appreciation. “They’re doing their beautiful leafy thing in the summer, they shade the entire side of that street, and when they bloom … they’re amazing,” Robbins said. “It’s just a pleasure.” Now, Northampton residents are rallying to save the trees, which the city is planning to cut down this year. Ruth Ozeki, who has lived on Warfield Place since 2015, said letters left on the doors of homes in April informed residents that a project to repave the street and reconstruct the sidewalk, part of a multi-street paving program in Northampton, would spell the end of the cherry trees. A groundskeeper from nearby Smith College planted the trees roughly 30 years ago when he lived on the street, according to Ozeki. Since then, they’ve become a beloved fixture of the neighborhood. After receiving the notice, a group of neighbors began a petition that now has more than 1,800 signatures. They’ve also penned editorials, met with the city’s mayor and Department of Public Works, and hosted the First Annual Cherry Blossom Festival in May to celebrate the trees…

Grand Junction, Colorado, Daily Sentinel, July 13, 2021: City responding to insect-damaged trees

The city of Grand Junction is taking action to combat several species of insects that are damaging the urban tree canopy. The primary tree species that has been impacted are ash trees, which makes up 23% of the public tree inventory. Grand Junction residents can expect to see city crews treating and removing public trees around the community at an increased pace this fall. Ash trees are particularly susceptible to pests such as the lilac ash borer and the ash bark beetle. Another even more damaging pest, the emerald ash borer, has caused severe damage Front Range communities, according to a city press release. The Parks and Recreation Department is taking steps to prepare for the emerald ash borer. It is injecting ash trees that are healthy and have a large enough trunk with a treatment to help them fight off the insects. Smaller ash trees will be sprayed to deter insects. Already infested ash trees must be removed, as no treatment will save the tree, according to the release. Trees will be planted in locations where there are signs of stewardship — mainly watering — to replace the lost trees. The city will plant a diverse group of species. It does not plant ash trees and suggests residents plant species other than ash…

National Geographic, July 13, 2021: What we can learn from Paris’s oldest tree

From the window of the apartment I’m staying in I can see the top of a not very tall but very remarkable tree, one that has occasionally been distracting me from the story I came to Paris for. I know the tree is remarkable because a plaque identifies it as the city’s oldest, planted in 1601. It’s a black locust, Robinia pseudoacacia, and it came originally from the Appalachians, in the United States… A wounded old soldier itself—its scarred trunk is kept upright by concrete braces—it turns out to have been the spearhead of an invading army: Since the 17th century, American black locusts have advanced across Europe and indeed the world. In Central Europe, especially, foresters soon fell in love with them. Black locusts grew quickly on land that had been denuded for firewood, protecting it from erosion. More recently, on the Loess Plateau in northwestern China, 25 million acres have been planted with black locusts over the last few decades to combat some of the worst soil erosion on Earth. Black locust wood is valuable too, and not just for burning; it’s hard and durable. Four centuries after Robin first planted the American import in his garden, Robinia is advertised here as the only “European” wood that can be used for garden furniture without pesticide treatment—a sustainable alternative to imported tropical teak. The trouble is, black locust doesn’t stay where it’s planted. It’s incredibly invasive, spreading by underground runners. In that it’s like another hardy pioneer, Ailanthus altissima, aka the tree of heaven, which in the 18th century traveled the world in the other direction, from China to America, with Paris botanists again offering a crucial assist…

Salt Lake City, Utah, KSL-TV, July 13, 2021: Monitor your trees during Utah’s drought, experts advise

As Utahns cut back on landscape watering during the intensity of the drought, experts said it’s still important to monitor the health of our trees. They said trees are pretty resilient, but some of them might need a little extra help to survive. “They, for the most part, can hang in there,” said Shaun Moser, manager of the Conservation Gardens at Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District. “It depends on the type of tree, obviously, but most of them can go through summers and show minimal stress, with only having rain or (precipitation) every once in a while.” Gov. Spencer Cox asked all Utahns to cut back watering to twice a week and to prioritize trees and shrubs over turf. But with very little precipitation over the last two months, some trees are struggling, especially those that don’t get any irrigation. “It actually takes a pretty significant toll on the trees,” said Moser…

Phys.org, July 12, 2021: When a single tree makes a difference

A single tree along a city street or in a backyard can provide measurable cooling benefits, according to a new study from American University. The research shows that “distributed” trees, those that are stand-alone and scattered throughout urban neighborhoods, can help to reduce evening heat. The research suggests that planting individual trees can be a strategy to mitigate urban heat, particularly in areas where land for parks can be scarce. “There are plenty of good reasons to plant trees, but our study shows we shouldn’t underestimate the role that individual trees can play in mitigating heat in urban areas,” said Michael Alonzo, assistant professor of environmental science and lead author of the new study. “City planners can take advantage of the small spaces that abound in urban areas to plant individual trees.” The study is published in Environmental Research Letters. While urban parks provide important mid-day cooling for residents and visitors, the key to cooling from individual trees happens in the evening. In the new study, which was conducted in Washington, D.C., cooling benefits from distributed trees were found to occur around 6 or 7 p.m. and after sunset. The study revealed lower temperatures in neighborhoods where at least half the area was covered by canopy from distributed trees. Temperatures were 1.4 degrees Celsius cooler in the evening compared with areas with few trees. Even in the predawn hour, areas with only modest distributed canopy cover (about 20 percent of the area) were cooler than those with no trees, showing that on average, afternoon and evening cooling effects last well into the night, Alonzo added…

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, July 12, 2021:Tree tests positive for Dutch elm disease in Saskatoon park

One case of Dutch elm disease (DED) has been confirmed in a Saskatoon tree, according to the City of Saskatoon on Monday. Crews will start removing the infected tree located in the Westmount neighbourhood on Tuesday, read a press release. “(DED) is a serious disease of the American elm, and elm makes up about 25 per cent of Saskatoon’s urban forest,” entomologist Sydney Worthy said in a statement. “The disease was introduced into North America in the 1930s and has since spread mainly through the transport of firewood and lumber. It has wiped out millions of elms across Canada and the United States and has been present in Saskatchewan since the 1980s. “Saskatoon had a reposted case in September last year…”

London, UK, The Independent, July 12, 2021: Mysterious lonely apple tree on uninhabited Hebridean island baffles scientists

Hidden amongst mossy crags on an uninhabited outer-Hebridean island of Scotland’s west coast, a rare example of a pure European crab apple tree species has been surviving, likely since the end of the last ice age, scientists have suggested. The single lonely tree was first discovered by botanists in 2003 on a rocky outcrop on the island of Pabaigh Mor, which lies off the wild west coast of Lewis, and its highly remote location has baffled scientists. The tree is growing at what is believed to be the northwestern limit for the species, with only one other similar case known – another single apple tree found over 200 miles away on an inaccessible cliff in Shetland. Now, scientists have examined the tree’s DNA, and discovered it is a “pure” species of European crab apple, which has never been cross pollinated with modern species, and it represents a type of apple tree which colonised the British Isles and other parts of Europe after the last ice age. Crab apple trees have a lifespan of up to around 150 years, and the possibility of a seed reaching the outer hebrides by animal or human is unlikely, the scientists said, as neither birds nor humans consume crab apples. Dr Markus Ruhsam, molecular ecologist at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, told The Independent: “We’ve been looking at wild apple trees in Scotland for around three years, and the idea is to establish how pure the wild apple trees we find in the countryside are. “All over Europe there is a lot of hybridisation between the wild apple tree and the domesticated apple tree, and we wanted to establish how pure it is.” Other recent reports have suggested the tree itself may be 11,000 years old. Dr Ruhsam said this was not the case. “Dating back to the ice age is not quite correct. There must be a misunderstanding,” he said…

Omaha, Nebraska, July 12, 2021: Historic storm destroyed Omaha’s oldest trees

Hurricane force winds that blew through the Omaha metro over the weekend were not kind to our trees, especially the older ones. Hedi Lowe lost a tree in her yard that was more than 80 years old. She will miss the shade it provided in the summer but she’s grateful for the way her old friend went out. “Very fortunately, it fell away from the house and away from the cars and nobody was under it,” said Hedi. Things didn’t work out that way for homeowner Tod Nyquist. No one was hurt but the tree that belongs to his neighbor fell on his car and in his yard. “Everything past our property line, we have to pay to remove and he’s responsible for his side of it,” said Tod. All of these downed trees mean more work for tree service companies. John Simpson owns Nebraska Tree and Snow. He says his crew will give emergency calls priority. “It’s anything that on the house on power lines we get to those things first. Anything that’s an emergency, to try to get people’s power back on or get back inside their house or into their cars,” said Simpson. Officials with Nebraska Tree and Snow say most likely it will be next week before they will begin cutting up and removing the larger trees after they take care of customers with most urgent needs. John Fech is with the Douglas Sarpy County Extension Service. He says this storm taught us a lot about having too many weak wooded trees in the same place and we should think about replacing the old trees with a variety of different trees…

Boise, Idaho, Idaho Press, July 11, 2021: North Enders call for stronger penalties after illegal tree removal…

Late last year, a family renovating a North End property unwittingly demolished 10 mature trees without a necessary permit, writes Idaho Press reporter Ryan Suppe North Enders, and others, bent on maintaining the City of Trees’ historic character and natural amenities, say it was the latest example of a trending problem. Restoration and remodeling projects are threatening the appeal of Boise’s oldest neighborhoods, they say, and the city should take a more active role in enforcing guidelines to maintain historic districts. Kate Henwood co-chairs the North End Neighborhood Association’s bodies on issues that may impact the area’s historical integrity. When she’s not “sprinting from chainsaw noise to chainsaw noise” herself, Henwood acts as a sort of liaison between policymakers and North End residents, including those upset by the tree removals near 19th and Ada streets. Last year’s illegal tree removal is exactly the type of phenomenon she hopes to prevent. “The loss is just really disorienting and obviously upsetting to the folks who have been looking at them and enjoying them for years and years,” she said of the trees…

Centralia, Washington, Chronicle, July 9, 2021: Jury Convicts Olympic Forest Tree Thief Behind 2018 ‘Maple Fire’

A Washington tree thief who sparked national headlines after poaching prized maple trees on the Olympic National Forest — and ultimately causing the 2018 “Maple Fire” — has been convicted in U.S. District Court. After a six-day trial and seven-hour jury deliberation, Justin Andrew Wilke, 39, was convicted of conspiracy, theft of public property, depredation of public property, trafficking in unlawfully harvested timber and attempting to traffic in unlawfully harvested timber. Wilke, the main defendant in the case, will be sentenced this October. It was the first federal criminal trial to use tree DNA evidence. According to a news release from the Justice Department, Wilke, along with Shawn Edward Williams, 49, poached maple trees in the Elk Lake area. When a wasp’s nest posed an obstacle at the base of one tree, they used insecticide and gasoline to light it on fire, ultimately failing to extinguish it, causing a wildfire that burned more than 3,300 acres between August and November. Containment ran $4.2 million. The illegal logging operation was started with the goal of transporting the wood to a Tumwater mill. The kind of maple trees illegally cut down are used to make musical instruments…

Seattle, Washington, Times, July 11, 2021: Newly discovered fungus spores spurred by heat and drought are killing Seattle street trees

It looks burned, as if blasted with a blowtorch: blackened — and dead. This maple, in a row of trees along the parking strip at the driving range at the Jefferson Park Golf Course, is a victim of a disease killing Seattle’s street trees. First detected here in 2020, the disease is caused by a fungus that also can pose risks to human health. So-called sooty bark disease is named for the black, powdery patches that are the telltale marks on tree bark of the fungus Crypotostroma corticale. At least 46 street trees have been observed to be suffering or killed by the disease so far in the city, but many more trees may be infected, said Nicholas Johnson, an arborist for Seattle Parks and Recreation. The disease has emerged as a growing concern because it is expanding in the variety of trees it infects, including native Pacific dogwood and big leaf maple. Trees are critical for cooling in urban areas made warmer by climate change, and in Seattle, are grieved individually when lost to development. Greenbelts are cherished play places for kids and habitat for wildlife. Even with their sidewalk-busting ways, street trees are fiercely defended. The new disease further threatens the city’s canopy. The fungus’ spores also are allergenic and can cause a debilitating inflammation of the lungs in humans under prolonged contact with infected wood. Diseased trees in Europe are considered an occupational hazard, suffered by people with intensive job-related contact with wood, such as mill workers…

Salon, July 11, 2021: Trees are dying of thirst in the Western drought — here’s what’s going on inside their veins

Like humans, trees need water to survive on hot, dry days, and they can survive for only short times under extreme heat and dry conditions. During prolonged droughts and extreme heat waves like the Western U.S. is experiencing, even native trees that are accustomed to the local climate can start to die. Central and northern Arizona have been witnessing this in recent months. A long-running drought and resulting water stress have contributed to the die-off of as many as 30% of the junipers there, according to the U.S. Forest Service. In California, over 129 million trees died as a consequence of a severe drought in the last decade, leaving highly flammable dry wood that can fuel future wildfires. Firefighters are now closely watching these and other areas with dead or dying trees as another extremely dry year heightens the fire risk. Trees survive by moving water from their roots to their leaves, a process known as vascular water transport. Water moves through small cylindrical conduits, called tracheids or vessels, that are all connected. Drought disrupts the water transport by reducing the amount of water available for the tree. As moisture in the air and soil decline, air bubbles can form in the vascular system of plants, creating embolisms that block the water’s flow. The less water that is available for trees during dry and hot periods, the higher the chances of embolisms forming in those water conduits. If a tree can’t get water to its leaves, it can’t survive…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star Tribune, July 8, 2021: Report: When it comes to trees, St. Paul’s mostly covered

Just as St. Paul is ramping up efforts in its multiyear struggle to combat emerald ash borer by removing ash trees across the city, a national report is pointing out disparities in leafy canopies among neighborhoods nationwide, including locally. A new Tree Equity report by the nonprofit American Forests reveals tree cover disparities along race and class lines in many cities. The group gave St. Paul an equity score of 83, which indicates the city is performing well overall, but with some neighborhoods lacking suggested tree cover. The biggest disparities are on private property, not on city boulevards and parks, according to city officials. The importance of tree coverage has grown in recent years as concern for climate change and heat islands grows. Tree cover has become a point of concern particularly in St. Paul, where the emerald ash borer was first found in Minnesota, in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood in 2009. Though many communities across the state have battled with the invasive species, it’s been a particular blight in St. Paul…

Washington, D.C., WUSA-TV, July 8, 2021: Yes, you get the bill if a neighbor’s tree hits your house, unless you do this one thing

With Tropical Storm Elsa expected to hit the Washington, D.C. region, homeowners are preparing for heavy rain and wind. That includes in St. Mary’s County where a State of Emergency has already been declared…The Verify team is getting ahead of the damage and looking into who is responsible for paying for damage caused by toppled trees. If a home is damaged by a toppled tree, from either a neighbor’s lawn or public property, who is responsible for paying for repairs? Generally speaking, the claim should be made by the homeowner, regardless of where the tree came from. This applies for trees located on a neighbor’s property and those on public land. Erin L. Webb, an insurance lawyer in the Washington, D.C. area, says there is a general rule when dealing with storm-related property damage caused by toppled trees. “The general approach is ‘your property, your problem,'” she says. “In other words, where the tree falls, that determines who will be financially responsible for removal.” That standard is supported by Michael Barry, the Senior Vice president at the Insurance Information Institute. “The claim starts wherever the tree fell,” he said. “So if the tree fell on your house, even if it wasn’t your tree, you should file a claim.” A situation where that advice might change is if a homeowner had previously warned the neighbor, in writing, that the tree was at risk of falling and they neglected to address it…

Bangor, Maine, Daily News, July 8, 2021: Mainers should be on the lookout for a new threat to the state’s elm trees

If you see an elm tree leaf with an odd, zigzag-shaped missing section, Maine forestry officials want to hear about it. It could be evidence of a new and potentially destructive insect pest in the state called the elm zigzag sawfly. The elm zigzag sawfly was observed in Quebec a year ago and officials there this summer reached out to their counterparts in adjacent states in the United States and Canadian provinces asking for help determining if the insect is spreading — and, if so, how far. Native to Asia, the elm zigzag sawfly was observed in Eastern Europe in 2003. Since then it has spread to more than 15 other European countries where it is causing significant damage to elm trees. So far, it has not been seen outside of Quebec in North America. “This is a new and unfolding story in North America,” said Michael Parisio, forest entomologist with the Maine Forest Service. “It’s difficult to say at this point how bad of a problem it could be here.” Two weeks ago, at the request of his counterpart in Quebec, Parisio set out traps — squares of yellow plastic coated with a sticky material — on elm trees in Augusta and Hermon. Because the traps have only been out for a couple of weeks, Parisio said it’s too soon to give any updated information on whether the insect has made it to Maine. “Our first step is to determine if it’s even a problem here,” Parisio said. “Then figure out the extent of the problem and what to do about it…”

West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University Extension Service, July 8, 2021: Purdue Landscape Report: Summer Tree Care

Finally, spring has sprung and summer is on its way. The hot days and warm nights are welcome for us, but summer isn’t always so kind to our trees, especially in our urban forests and landscapes. Trees are dynamic living organisms that respond to external stimuli in very strategic ways and each season presents its own challenges and summer is no different. During the summer, growth slows as some resources become limited and typically, this is water. As the summer season progresses, the likelihood of less rain means potential drought conditions. The primary responses of a tree to heat and drought are a reduction in photosynthesis and carbon assimilation rates. This translates to a reduction in energy production and food reserves. This reduction can increase vulnerability to health issues and reduced defense mechanisms against pests. There are some key steps to summer tree care which can help trees through potentially challenging conditions in the summer. (1) Watch the water; be sure to supplement trees with additional watering when there isn’t adequate rainfall that measures at least an inch per week. Mature trees need supplemental watering just as the younger, newly established trees. Be sure to know the symptoms of dry conditions and how much to water with more information here…

Baltimore, Maryland, Patch, July 7, 2021: Maryland Says Goodbye To Cicadas, Welcomes Brown Tree Branches

In case you haven’t noticed, cicadas are officially gone. After eight weeks of the “bottomless supply” of droning insects in Maryland, the Brood X cicadas have left for another 17 years. But they wouldn’t be cicadas without leaving something behind to remember them by. The tips of tree branches are turning brown as a result of flagging from female cicadas. Before their departure, the female cicadas cut “train track like patterns” into tree branches to lay their remaining eggs. The branches are turning brown because the cuts stop sap and water from reaching the end of the branch, killing it. According to WTOP news, the cicadas seem to only lay their eggs in thin, small tree branches. The cicadas’ damage to the branch does not harm the rest of the tree. The laid eggs will remain in the branch for about a month before they hatch, fall from the tree, and go underground. They will reappear in 2038, 17 years from now, and the cicada mania will begin all over again…

Norfolk, Virginia, WTKR-TV, July 7, 2021: How to handle fallen trees after a major storm

With Tropical Storm Elsa on its way to Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina, Dominion Energy’s linemen are on the clock. “The good news is that we’re ready. We prepare for things like this all year long,” said Legislative Advisor/Sr. Communications Specialist Paula Miller. Continuing preps Wednesday afternoon, crews readied vehicles for strong winds and rain that could take down trees and limbs. “Usually when trees land on a power line, we’re going to be having to put a lot of wire backup, so we keep a good amount of wire on our truck,” said Walter Moore, a lineman for Dominion Energy. “It could be a twig that could lay across [it] and affect the whole power line.” It could also affect your relationship with your neighbor: Who’s responsibility is it to remove the tree? How far can branches be cut back? What if the tree root is encroaching on two properties? “For the most part, insurance covers when there’s damage. It’s when the tree falls and doesn’t damage anything. So, good news – [there’s] no property got damaged, but the not-so-good news is that somebody’s got a pay to remove it,” said John Tarley, managing attorney at Tarley Robinson in Williamsburg. Tree removal can be expensive if the tree is large enough. Tarley isn’t offering legal advice, but he hopes to clear up some confusion with Virginia’s “Tree Law.” “The general Tree Law in Virginia is if the tree limbs of your neighbors tree are hanging over your fence, you can cut them up to your property line,” he said. Tarley has also taken to the internet to answer some questions about Tree Law and neighbors’ disputes. In the event a storm does make a mess across yards, you may want to just talk it out with your neighbor before getting caught up in legal trouble. Tarley said one time, “A tree on my neighbor’s property fell on my land and we split the cost of removing the tree, which is people will find is substantial…”

Phys.org, July 7, 2021: Trees: The critical infrastructure low-income neighborhoods lack

As the Pacific Northwest sweltered through a record-breaking heat wave last week, many residents here in America’s least air-conditioned city sought relief under the shade of cedars and maples in city parks. But in some areas of Seattle, that shelter was hard to come by. “If you look at aerial photographs, north Seattle looks like a forest,” said Washington state Rep. Bill Ramos, a suburban Democrat who sponsored a bill the legislature recently passed to help cities improve their tree canopy. “On the south side, you see nothing but rooftops and asphalt and not a green thing anywhere. It’s strictly a matter of socioeconomics and race.” That disparity is not unique to Seattle. American Forests, a Washington, D.C.-based conservation nonprofit, released a nationwide analysis last month showing that low-income neighborhoods and communities of color have significantly less tree canopy. Those areas also are more likely to suffer from the urban heat island effect caused by a lack of shade and an abundance of heat-absorbing asphalt. Heat islands can be as much as 10 degrees hotter than surrounding neighborhoods. “We found that the wealthiest neighborhoods have 65% more tree canopy cover than the highest poverty neighborhoods,” said Ian Leahy, the group’s vice president of urban forestry. “As cities are beginning to heat up due to climate change, people are realizing that trees are critical infrastructure. I’ve never seen as much momentum toward urban forestry across the board.” In many cities and states, policymakers and advocates say they’re aiming to correct decades of inequities in urban tree canopy. They acknowledge how racist policies such as redlining have had a stark effect on the presence of urban green space, and that trees are important for public health. Some leaders have even pledged to use American Forests’ “Tree Equity Score” to target their tree plantings in the neighborhoods that need it most…

NPR, July 7, 2021: What The Rise And Fall Of Lumber Prices Tell Us About The Pandemic Economy

It’s been a roller-coaster ride for lumber prices over the last year – and it’s drawn outsize attention from the aisles of Home Depot to the Federal Reserve. Lumber prices surged to record highs this year on the back of booming demand from home-builders and do-it-yourself-ers with plenty of time on their hands. The price surge was so big and sudden, it became a symbol of what some economists feared: rampant inflation. But over the past two months, lumber prices have been dropping equally fast, giving weight to the central bank’s argument that pandemic price spikes for many products are likely to be temporary. That’s not the end of the story, however. Lumber prices may have fallen but they are still elevated, creating new headaches for the critical housing sector. And companies in the lumber industry are wrestling with a new pandemic problem: a shortage of workers. Here are three things that the rise, fall, and now volatility of lumber prices tell us about the pandemic economy. The supply shock that sent lumber prices to record levels earlier this year did not come from a shortage of trees: The price of raw timber has barely budged. Instead, the lumber crunch was centered on sawmills, which cut round timber into square boards…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, July 6, 2021: Did your trees survive the harsh winter storm? These foresters discuss how to tell

It may be too early to tell if your trees have truly survived this winter’s storm, but a Plano forester is back to discuss the warning signs that a tree may be damaged beyond repair. Plano’s urban forester Marc Beaudoing and Mike Sills, a Dallas region urban forester for the Texas Urban Forest Service, outlined what to look for during a video presentation. Beaudoing had previously discussed what to look for immediately after this winter’s storms, and returned to discuss signs of damage or death in area trees. The types of trees that are showing damage from the storm include lacebark elm, Texas ash, Chinese tallow, and red oak. The full extent of damages throughout the city is not yet known, Beaudoing said. “We’ve been going through the neighborhoods and trying to figure out how many trees have been affected by the storm and we’ve been keeping track of all of the trees on public properties and private properties, as well,” Beaudoing said. Some of the warning signs of damage are brittle branches, leaves growing out of the base of the tree, and tips that have died back about five feet into the canopy. In addition to record-setting low temperatures of below 5 degrees in February, the storm brought more than 200 hours of below-freezing temperatures to Plano, Beaudoing said. Thankfully, the winter storm has been followed by a lot of rain, but trees that appear to be recovering are not out of the woods just yet, according to the foresters. A summer drought, for example, could prove too stressful for trees that are already damaged…

Orlando, Florida, WKMG-TV, July 6, 2021: Tree trimming companies busy ahead of Elsa’s arrival

Tree removal services are keeping busy ahead of Elsa’s potential to bring tropical force winds and heavy rain to parts of Central Florida and one of the major safety concerns are flying tree limbs and trees toppling over. “Usually, whenever they announce a storm especially if the trajectory is to come to Florida, the phones just go off the hook,” Iván Arocha, the owner of Forrest Stump Tree Services in Orlando said. “The biggest thing is to keep your trees pruned and properly pruned.” Pruning is another word for trimming. As the storm approaches, high winds are a concern because they cause flying debris like tree limbs and can even uproot trees. “It could be catastrophic. I mean it’s hard to say what level of damage a tree is gonna cause. Sometimes if the whole tree uproots it could come down very slow it could actually rest on a home and do very minimal damage,” Arocha said. Just hours before the storm hits his team removed a large tree from the backyard of a home in Orlando. A homeowner told Arocha they had a tree with limbs falling off. Arocha said that’s an indication that a tree could be weak…

San Francisco, California, KPIX-TV, July 6, 2021: Drought Putting Bay Area Trees Under Stress; ‘Give Them Water’ Says Water District

It’s easy to see the beauty and benefits of large, mature trees. What’s harder to see is that the drought is already putting many of them under stress. “If you notice things that for this time of year look a little different,” said John Chapman, an arborist for the Santa Clara Valley Water District. “Like, a lot of our trees will start to turn color in the fall as just part of their natural progression. We’re seeing plants starting to do that already.” Chapman says other trees, which were probably stressed in the last drought, have now died. And more could follow in the yards of homeowners when people turn off their lawn sprinklers to save water. That’s why the Valley Water District is modifying its message when it comes to watering during the drought. “The messaging is to cut back on general use of water in your landscape, convert over to drought-tolerant landscaping, but if you have established trees, give them water.” Mature trees provide shade and natural cooling, which can cut down on home energy use. They also provide habitat for birds and wildlife, cut down on erosion and provide oxygen for us to breathe. “You can’t just replace a large mature tree like that. You need to plant the tree and wait and wait, 30 to even, like, hundreds of years,” said Sophia Saavedra with Our City Forest, which helps replenish San Jose’s tree population…

Country Living, July 6, 2021: What to Do about Gypsy Moths Devouring Your Trees

It all started when an entrepreneur in Massachusetts imported European gypsy moths in 1869 in hopes of finding an alternative insect for silk production; his effort failed miserably in more ways than one. Unfortunately, a few caterpillars escaped, reproduced, and spread. These destructive insects are now found throughout the Northeast, west to Wisconsin, and south to Virginia. “Gypsy moths can defoliate hundreds of acres and decimate a forest,” says entomologist Michael Skvarla, PhD, assistant research professor of arthropod identification at Penn State University. “They haven’t been an issue for the last 10 or 15 years, but in 2021, we’re seeing a significant outbreak.” Generally, population explosions eventually collapse due to natural predators such as mice or specialized wasps, or two naturally occurring diseases, a virus known as NPV and a fungus. In the meantime, it’s decidedly not so pleasant to watch them chowing down on your trees, covering the side of your house, or crashing the family picnic. Plus, a huge infestation may result in a lot of, well, caterpillar poo, on decks and patios. The good news is that gypsy moth caterpillars don’t bite, though if handled, their hairs can cause skin irritation—and their waste simply can be hosed off. While you can’t eliminate gypsy moths, you can take a few steps to try to reduce the population and feel a little less anxiety-ridden that your entire garden is their personal buffet. Here’s what you should know to help control gypsy moths in your garden. Fortunately, state and federal programs have slowed the spread in the last 20 years—but they’re still a big threat because they’ve defoliated 75 million acres in the U.S. since 1970. You may see the caterpillars, also called larvae, munching on your trees and shrubs; they feed on more than 300 species. Some of their favorites include oak, birch, cedar, and fruit trees—but they’ll even eat conifers if they get hungry enough, says Skvarla. Typically, you’ll see the tiny ¼-inch to ½-inch-long caterpillars hatch in early to mid-May; by June they’re 1 to 2 or more inches long, hairy, with two rows of little bumps down their backs. The first third of the dots are blue, the second 2/3 are red dots. No other caterpillar looks like this, says Skvarla…

newtree210706Jackson, Tennessee, Sun, July 5, 2021: An in-tree-guing discovery: Globally rare, endangered tree discovered in
Obion County

The rare and endangered Harbison’s Hawthorn tree—thought only to exist as a single stalk in Nashville’s Percy Warner Park—has been discovered in Obion County, thanks to the efforts of a number of very dedicated ecological scientists over a six-and-a-half year span. “I’m really rocked back on my heels over the interest this has gotten! This has been very shocking and encouraging,” said Barry Hart, ecological site inventory specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service of Tennessee, and the original discoverer of the tree. “I just stumbled upon this population—it’s the plant that warrants all of this attention, not me.” Hart made the seemingly impossible discovery while on a routine survey trip with a soil scientist back in October 2014, when he was cataloging plant specimens along a rural backroad in Obion County. “I was in the Loess Hills, in a very rural area in the southwest portion of Obion county, and I was just out walking along the road,” he said. “I did not have permission to go on the land along the road, so a soil scientist and myself were walking along the road, just jotting down species, trying to characterize the landscape as well as the plants growing on the trees.” That’s when Hart saw the first small hawthorn tree…

Abilene, Texas, Reporter News, July 4, 2021: Bruce Kreitler: Desperate trees call for desperate measures

June worked very hard to retain its reputation as our rainiest month, and seeing the nutlets that are growing on pecan trees, I think it’s safe to say we have over-weighted pecan limbs in our (near) future. I still am curious about the timing on our pecan crop this year; as I mentioned in an earlier column, this year’s cooler temperatures got pecans off to a later start, which makes me think the pecans will mature later than usual. Something else that I’ve recently noticed, and this is an entirely different kind of crop, is that I’m not seeing mesquite beans in mesquite trees. Granted, most of the mesquites I’m looking at are just ones I’m driving by, and maybe I’m just missing them. However, it’s July and normally at this time of year, mesquite beans are almost mature, or already falling out of trees. What brought my attention to the mesquites is that they currently are blooming, and I’m wondering if this second bloom actually will set a crop this year, since the primary spring crop seems to be mostly missing…

willow210706Popular Science, July 1, 2021: Willow trees could be a sustainable (and beautiful) way to treat wastewater

Just like most everything else in our day-to-day life, the climate crisis is stressing storm drainage systems and wastewater management—especially in large cities. As intense rainfall and flooding increase for many coastal areas, all that access water overwhelms municipal stormwater management systems. This can lead to backups where runoff of “contaminants such as trash, nutrients, sediment or bacteria into local waterways” which lowers water quality and even threatens drinking water supplies according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There’s a lot of water to process and clean up in North America alone. Canada treats and releases six trillion liters (more than 1.5 trillion gallons) of municipal wastewater into the environment every year. Another billion liters of untreated sewage is then discharged into pristine surface waters when storms overtax systems and facilities, leading to water contamination. Water treatment facilities in the United States process over 34 billion gallons (over 128 million liters) every single day, the EPA reports. But, the question remains, is the way we are currently treating wastewater the best way to go? A team of researchers from various universities in Canada and the United Kingdom may have found a sustainable solution—planting willow trees. The group investigated a plantation of willow trees in Quebec and found that the lovely, weepy trees were able to filter over 30 million liters of primary wastewater per hectare in the course of three years. They published their findings in the peer-reviewed journal Science of The Total Environment. “We’re still learning how these trees can tolerate and treat such high volumes of wastewater, but willows’ complex ‘phyto’-chemical toolkit is giving us exciting clues,” Eszter Sas, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. student at Université de Montréal said in a release. “It seems likely that we’re still only scratching the surface of these trees’ natural chemical complexity, which could be harnessed to tackle environmental problems…”

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star-Tribune, July 5, 2021: Oak wilt reaches Crow Wing County, putting Minnesota’s northern trees at risk

The edges of the leaves of an old oak tree near Brainerd turned brown last summer when they should have been at their healthiest. This spring, as everything around the tree was blooming, its leaves fell, creating a telltale carpet of dead leaves with brown edges and green centers. Samples sent to a lab in the Twin Cities recently confirmed what arborists suspected: Oak wilt has made it to Crow Wing County. It’s the farthest north the disease, always fatal to most oak species, has been found. The spread now covers about a third of the state, putting one of Minnesota’s most important trees at risk. One of the striking things about oak wilt, caused by an invasive fungus, is how quickly it attacks a tree once it’s there, said Rachael Dube, forest health specialist for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Most red oaks die within two months of infection, she said. Some are killed in just a couple of weeks. “While it’s devastating to individual trees, what we’re very concerned about over time is the ecological impact of losing oak trees,” Dube said. Oak wilt was found recently in Crow Wing County as the disease continues to creep across the state. Caused by an invasive fungus that can kill a healthy tree in just weeks, oak wilt has been here since 1945…

New York City, The New York Times, July 2, 2021: Trees Save Lives in Heat Waves. So Why Aren’t We Saving Trees?

The trees were supposed to stay. It didn’t matter that the owners of the squat building alongside were planning to redevelop the property. The four eastern red cedars stood on city land, where they had grown for the better part of a century. “There’s no way these trees are coming down,” Shane McQuillan, who manages the city’s trees, recalled thinking. “The default position for us is, you don’t take out big trees to put in small trees.” Here’s why: At a time when climate change is making heat waves more frequent and more severe, trees are stationary superheroes. Research shows that heat already kills more people in the United States than hurricanes, tornadoes and other weather events, perhaps contributing to 12,000 deaths per year. Extreme heat this week in the Pacific Northwest and Canada has killed hundreds. Trees can lower air temperature in city neighborhoods 10 lifesaving degrees, scientists have found. They also reduce electricity demand for air conditioning, not only sparing money and emissions, but helping avoid potentially catastrophic power failures during heat waves…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, July 1, 2021: Michael Potter: Questions to ask as you evaluate the health of your trees

Weather plays a big part in the overall health of our trees. The freeze in February of this year, along with more than adequate rainfall, are just examples of what trees encounter over their lifespan. The freeze event really did a number on many trees. Also keep in mind all the ups and downs that trees have to endure. We have been receiving questions regarding how to handle or what to do with a damaged tree. “Should I cut it down? What can I do to save the tree?” I ran across a publication that our Texas Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) published. It was a publication called the “Tree Care Kit.” I hope the following information will help you assess a trees properly before writing off a damaged tree as a “goner.” Homeowners should evaluate their trees by asking the following questions: Other than the storm damage, is the tree basically healthy and vigorous? If the tree is basically healthy, is not creating a hazard, and did not suffer major structural damage, it will generally recover if first aid measures are applied immediately after the storm…

Palm Beach, Florida, Post, July 1, 2021: Hurricane preparation: Trim your trees now, before the storm

Trim trees before storms threaten. Many municipalities have “amnesty” weeks before storm season, when you can deposit more than the allowable limit of yard debris . Call municipalities for more information. Call a professional. Trees trimmed by a professional arborist are far less likely to fall. Thinning a tree allows wind to blow through its canopy, offering less wind resistance in a storm. Prune young trees to create a single leader, which will grow into a strong trunk. Minimize damage to mature trees by removing weak branches and reducing limb lengths. Hatracked trees become sails. Removing a tree’s canopy encourages bushy growth, making a tree top-heavy and wind-resistant. Hatracking is also illegal…

Farm Progress, July 2, 2021: Oak trees are mighty

Many years ago, as we were developing our community arboretum in my hometown, we planted a handful of bur oak seedlings in our parks. At the time, there were a few skeptics who mentioned that they would never live long enough to see these oaks amount to anything. Besides, their experiences with bur oak were in a wild, pasture setting, where the trees grew up gnarled and tough. They weren’t considered stately park trees. Now, about 30 years later, those little bur oak seedlings have grown to about 40 feet in height and are beautiful shade trees in our parks. Granted, they were planted next to a creek, so moisture was never a problem in their growth. Yet, this little bur oak experiment has proven to me that oaks are a tree that should be considered for plantings around the farm and ranch. On our farm, there are no native bur oak trees. Our creek valley grows plenty of native hackberry and cottonwood, but no oak. That’s why we planted a couple of bur oak seedings a few years back on the farm, because of their longevity and toughness under extreme conditions. Oaks thrive in zones 3 to 8, which covers most of the continental U.S. They are known for their slow growth rate, which is why they are considered survivors. They take their time and require a little patience, growing maybe a foot or more a year under normal conditions…

Sacramento, California, Bee, June 30, 2021: Hundreds of miles of blue oak tree cover exclusive to California have vanished. Why?

Sprinkled along the foothills of California’s Central Valley stand the iconic blue oak woodlands. Towering up to 80 feet tall and some reaching over 400 years old, the trees are home to one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the state. But extreme drought and wildfires are forcing the woodlands into an uncertain future. A new study conducted by U.S. Geological Survey researchers found that the historic drought of 2012-2016 alone caused nearly 490 square miles of tree cover loss — or the reduction of leaves and branches — in the blue oak woodlands. That’s about 37% of the entire tree cover loss in the study’s 32-year period… Blue oak cover loss in 2015 and 2016 was 5.2 and 3.2 times greater, respectively, than the average annual tree cover loss in the entire study period. Tree cover loss occurred even during periods without forest fires, with the greatest damage done during the driest and hottest years, according to the study published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Climate

Charlotte, North Carolina, WCNC-TV, June 30, 2021: ‘Get McGinty’ helps neighborhood get trees trimmed that were sparking fires

A Charlotte neighborhood is breathing a sigh of relief after a potentially dangerous situation was resolved thanks to help from WCNC Charlotte. Linda Britton and several of her neighbors were concerned about some power lines that were buried in the trees in some backyards and common areas in their community. Neighbors said the lines even sparked a small fire at one point. Britton contacted Bill McGinty about getting the trees cut back, which is something all homeowners should consider now that it’s hurricane season. “And the tree branches are causing spark-ups and fires in the tree branches when they rub against the power lines,” Britton said. For some people, the trees don’t really look like they’d be a problem but they were, especially in strong winds. The neighborhood was having trouble getting this issue fixed, so Britton emailed WCNC Charlotte, who in turn contacted Duke Energy, which is responsible for those lines. This story serves as yet another reminder that trees near power lines, or your home for that matter, should be pruned back, especially in storm season…

Phys.org, June 30, 2021: Why an invasive caterpillar is munching its way through tree leaves, in the largest outbreak in decades

The past several weeks have seen a voracious moth caterpillar eat its way through tree leaves across southern Ontario and Québec, and from Michigan to Vermont. Since the 1980s, Lymantria dispar has led to enormous outbreaks, often lasting multiple years. The caterpillar has caused a great deal of damage, totaling more than 17,000 square kilometers across Canada. Efforts to manage the insect have cost billions of dollars in both Canada and the United States. The common name of this insect (gypsy moth) is problematic, so I’ll refer to it as L. dispar. You might also see it called “LDD moth” in some reports. They’re all the same species. L. dispar can be traced back to one man’s failed business venture, in this case, an attempt to launch a North American silk industry more than a century ago. Although it remains limited to a handful of provinces and U.S. states, the invasive species could spread further with global warming. Étienne Léopold Trouvelot, a French artist, astronomer and entomologist, was living in Medford, Mass., in the late 1800s when he decided to start breeding native North American moths in the trees near his house to create a silkworm colony. He was unsuccessful, probably because his caterpillars contracted viral diseases when they were kept in large numbers. Birds kept eating his caterpillars too…

Santa Barbara, California, Edhat, June 30, 2021: Two men face charges for illegally cutting down Eugena Trees in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that a felony complaint has been filed against James Allen Carr, 76, of Elk Grove, California and Enriquez Calles Vasquez, 51, of North Highlands, California. Mr. Carr and Mr. Vasquez have been charged with two felony violations; Conspiracy to Commit Vandalism, in violation of Penal Code section 182(a)(1), and Vandalism causing damage over $10,000, in violation of Penal Code section 594(a)(3). Additionally, Mr. Carr and Mr. Vasquez are charged with 3 misdemeanor violations of Santa Barbara Municipal Code section 15.20.115 (Unlawful Tree Removal from a Parkway), and 1 misdemeanor violation of Santa Barbara Municipal Code section 15.24.020 (Unlawful Tree Removal from a Setback). It is alleged that in December of 2020, Mr. Carr and Mr. Vasquez illegally cut down and removed 3 Eugena Trees owned by the City of Santa Barbara, and located on City of Santa Barbara property in front of a house on Paterna Road on the Riviera, owned by Mr. Carr. It is also alleged that Mr. Carr and Mr. Vasquez illegally removed a 4 th Eugena Tree located on Mr. Carr’s property. The Eugena Trees are estimated to have been over 50 years old, and the cost of replacing the 3 City of Santa Barbara-owned trees is estimated to be over $100,000…

Sacramento, California, Bee, June 29, 2021: Man ticketed in suburban Chicago dog park for tree treatment

A man who said he sprayed trees in a suburban Chicago park to protect them after an anxious dog chewed off the bark has been ticketed by authorities. Asher Thomas is accused of “altering flora” in a Naperville dog park. The ticket from the Will County Forest Preserve carries a $225 fine, the Aurora Beacon-News reported. “Just as you can’t go around doing things to other people’s property, even if intentions are good, you can’t allow your dogs to do damage or spray a foreign substance on trees,” said Forest Preserve Deputy Police Chief Dave Barrios. Thomas said he regularly takes his dog, Dixie, to Whalon Lake Dog Park and learned that another owner’s German shepherd had gnawed away the bark on more than a dozen trees. He said he used a can of tree pruning sealer to cover the wounds…

Portland, Oregon, Oregonian, June 29, 2021: ODOT fires a prime contractor on its controversial post-fire hazard tree and debris removal program

The Oregon Department of Transportation has fired its contractor responsible forremoving trees and clearing debris from last year’s Riverside and Beachie Creek fires after delays “caused us to lose confidence in ECC’s ability to complete this work timely and in accordance with the state’s expectations.” The agency told lawmakers in an email Monday afternoon that the decision to remove ECC Constructors LLC resulted in part due to oversight mechanisms and contract administration put in place after the Legislature held hearings on the hazard-tree removal program this spring after media reports that it was being mismanaged. Those changes gave the state more flexibility to move contractors from one fire to another. The email, from Lindsay Baker, ODOT’s assistant director of government relations, went to 23 senators and representatives. “I do have news to share that I expect you’d want to learn from me instead of seeing it in the papers,” she told them. Nicole Sherbert, a spokeswoman for the debris removal program, said Tuesday the state and ODOT had expected that hazard tree cutting and removal and private property ash and debris cleanup would be completed by the end of this year. “When comparing this contractor’s performance to others and their general lack of urgency, we do not feel that they are able to complete the work in a reasonable timeframe; thus find it in the best interest of the public to terminate all contracts with ECC for convenience on June 28, 2021,” she said in an email…

The Conversation, June 29, 2021: Trees are dying of thirst in the Western drought – here’s what’s going on inside their veins

Like humans, trees need water to survive on hot, dry days, and they can survive for only short times under extreme heat and dry conditions. During prolonged droughts and extreme heat waves like the Western U.S. is experiencing, even native trees that are accustomed to the local climate can start to die. Central and northern Arizona have been witnessing this in recent months. A long-running drought and resulting water stress have contributed to the die-off of as many as 30% of the junipers there, according to the U.S. Forest Service. In California, over 129 million trees died as a consequence of a severe drought in the last decade, leaving highly flammable dry wood that can fuel future wildfires. Firefighters are now closely watching these and other areas with dead or dying trees as another extremely dry year heightens the fire risk. Trees survive by moving water from their roots to their leaves, a process known as vascular water transport. Water moves through small cylindrical conduits, called tracheids or vessels, that are all connected. Drought disrupts the water transport by reducing the amount of water available for the tree. As moisture in the air and soil decline, air bubbles can form in the vascular system of plants, creating embolisms that block the water’s flow. The less water that is available for trees during dry and hot periods, the higher the chances of embolisms forming in those water conduits. If a tree can’t get water to its leaves, it can’t survive…

New York City, The New York Times, June 30, 2021: Since When Have Trees Existed Only for Rich Americans?

Access to clean air and outdoor activities seems like a basic right. But in cities across the country, lower-income communities and communities of color more often live in neighborhoods with a higher share of concrete surfaces such as roads, buildings and parking lots, and a very limited number of trees and parks. Neighborhoods with a majority of people in poverty have 25 percent less tree canopy on average than those with a minority of people in poverty, according to American Forests’ Tree Equity Score tool that analyzes income, employment, age, ethnicity, health and surface temperature with tree canopy data in 486 metro areas.
In the most extreme cases, wealthy areas have 65 percent more tree canopy than communities where nine out of 10 people live below the poverty line. Communities with too few trees are feeling the consequences this week, as a heat wave sweeps through much of the Pacific Northwest. The average temperature can vary to up to 10 degrees between places with trees and those without. And where there is more heat, there is more death: Heat kills more people in the United States than any other kind of extreme weather. We can expect up to a tenfold increase in heat-related deaths in the eastern United States by the latter half of the 2050s and at least a 70 percent increase in the largest cities nationwide by 2050…

Los Angeles, California, Times, June 28, 2021: Couple fined $18,000 for bulldozing dozens of Joshua trees to make
way for home

A couple who bulldozed and buried 36 Joshua trees to make way for a home were recently fined $18,000 — a punishment authorities hope will deter others from destroying the iconic trees. “I would hope that the person that would otherwise take, remove, bulldoze a Joshua tree would understand that they are facing fairly significant criminal liability for doing so,” said Douglas Poston, supervising deputy district attorney with the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office. An investigation into the destruction began Feb. 11, when a Morongo Basin resident saw his neighbors using a tractor to mow down dozens of the twisted, bristled trees and reported it to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife through a tip line, wildlife officials said. Not long before, the neighbor — who was not identified — noticed the trees were marked for removal and warned Jeffrey Walter and Jonetta Nordberg-Walter not to take them out. The western Joshua tree is a candidate for protection under the California Endangered Species Act. It is illegal to cut down, damage or remove the sensitive desert tree without a permit while they’re under review for more lasting protection. According to Poston, the couple believed that small trees, under a certain diameter, could legally be removed. The two own the land where the trees were and planned to build a home on the lot. “But that’s not accurate, obviously,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a foot tall or 20 feet tall, it’s under that protection…”

US News and World Report, June 28, 2021: How Much Do Trees Lower Urban Temperatures?

Could trees be the key to a cool summer in the city? Yes, claims new research that calculated just how much greenery can bring temperatures down. “We’ve long known that the shade of trees and buildings can provide cooling,” said study co-author Jean-Michel Guldmann. He is a professor emeritus of city and regional planning at Ohio State University, in Columbus. “But now we can more precisely measure exactly what that effect will be in specific instances, which can help us make better design choices and greening strategies to mitigate the urban heat island effect,” Guldmann said in a university news release. For the study, his team created a 3D digital model of a nearly 14-square-mile area of northern Columbus to assess the effect that shade from trees and buildings had on land surface temperatures over one hour on a summer day. The researchers found that the amount of tree canopy had a significant impact on what’s known as the urban heat island effect. For example, on a day when the temperature was 93.33 degrees Fahrenheit in one neighborhood, the temperature would have been 3.48 degrees lower (89.85 degrees) if all the current trees had been fully grown. And if the neighborhood had 20 more full-grown trees, the temperature would be another 1.39 degrees lower…

Wichita, Kansas, Eagle, June 26, 2021: Kansas shoe tree that had visitors from around the world reduced to stump after storm

It’s unclear whether it made any noise when it fell, but the famous shoe tree near Wetmore in Nemaha County, Kansas has definitely made some noise after it fell during a storm earlier this week. People from all over the world visited the large cottonwood tree that had hundreds of shoes, heels, boots, clogs and sneakers nailed to it. It fell during a storm Thursday night. A Facebook post showing a photo of the downed tree has been shared hundreds of times, including by the Big Kansas Road Trip’s Facebook page. One person replied to the road trip’s share that it was on their bucket list to visit the tree. “There’s a little bit of it left but it sure isn’t the same as seeing the huge majestic tree as it once was,” the BKRT replied. Jerry Kissel, whose father nailed the first shoe to the tree in the 1990s, said his father never thought the tree would be so popular. He said the tree knocked out the power at his fourth-generation farmstead a quarter-mile from the tree, which is on public land. “It came down hard,” Kissel said. “We knew it was going to come down. It was a matter of time.” The tree is believed to be more than 100 years old. Kissel said it had the circumference of a telephone pole when his great grandfather moved to the farmstead in 1909. His father would later play under its branches while he waited for the mail carrier to drop off letters at the corner…

Gulfport, Mississippi, WXXV-TV, June 28, 2021: 200-year-old oak tree in Ocean Springs causing issues

A 200-year-old live oak tree in Ocean Springs is causing controversy. The tree is presenting safety concerns leaving many stumped on whether the tree should be cut down. This morning, an arborist from New Orleans weighed in the debate. “Leave it. Absolutely 100 percent don’t cut it down. It’s just crazy what is happening to this tree that’s been here for 200 years.” For Ocean Springs resident Bob Smith, cutting down the oak tree at Fort Maurepas Park near Front Beach is absurd considering the big trees right down the road. “Everybody recognizes that if a tree falls, it’s a danger to whoever is under the tree. All the tees on Washington Avenue would crush somebody if they fall, but you don’t go whacking down trees in case they fall one day.” John Benton, an arborist for Bayou Tree Service, has a different view. He determined the city could place a brace on the tree and monitor it, but because of its location on the potential risk is too great. “From a professional standpoint, my recommendation would have to be removal because of the liability over a playground. It’s a public area. There’s a lot of potential for problems…”

New York City, The New York Times, June 26, 2021: The Unlikely Survival of the 1,081-Year-Old Tree That Gave Palo Alto Its Name

It could have toppled long ago. For one thing, it’s a loner, miles from kin that thrive in far wetter climates. Its massive roots are sandwiched between a concrete wall and railroad tracks. It has weathered coal and diesel smoke from passing trains for more than a century. It has survived earthquakes and record-breaking droughts, and a less destructive man-made force: graffiti. El Palo Alto — a 1,081-year-old redwood tree that has long served as the 120-foot-tall symbol of Palo Alto, the city that took its name — is arguably Silicon Valley’s original no-tech start-up. It still stands after nearly 11 centuries because it has been singled out for veneration, and people tend to have an emotional connection to charismatic megaflora with a story to tell, from the cedars of Lebanon in the Middle East to the major oak that supposedly housed Robin Hood and his men in Sherwood Forest. That’s El Palo Alto on the official emblem of the City of Palo Alto and the official seal of Stanford University. And that’s El Palo Alto, sort of, that dances around at Stanford games as the unofficial campus mascot, a googly-eyed oddball costumed tree with floppy branches. “It embodies the pioneer spirit of Palo Alto,” said Walter Passmore, the city’s former urban forester, who cared for the tree for nine years until he left the position in May. “Palo Alto has always prided itself on being home to innovators, leaders and creative thinking. That is what some people see in the tree…”

Abilene, Texas, Reporter-News, June 27, 2021: Bruce Kreitler: Don’t cut off your tree’s energy supply

As a tree guy, one of the things that I’m constantly thinking about when I’m looking at trees to prune, trying to establish new trees or working with trees that are in distress is how much energy they might have. And what is their ability to create more. When I say “energy,” I essentially mean stored photosynthate that the plant has created out of available nutrients, water, gases and sunlight (whew, that sure sounds like a complicated process). Generally, trees with full canopies and a vigorous appearance are going to have access to energy reserves which they can utilize in several different ways if the need arises. On the other hand, trees with visibly thin canopies, an excessive amount of dead/dying structure or missing large pieces probably are telling you that they don’t have a lot of extra energy available. The reason I bring this up is that there are a lot of trees and larger shrubs throughout our region that were heavily damaged by the February cold…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star-Tribune, June 26, 2021: Foresters brace for brutal fire season as drought adds to threat to Minnesota’s trees

Kindling is piling up on the forest floor. Beetles, pests and diseases that have been attacking Minnesota’s core tree species over the past several years have turned entire stands into the ready-made fuel of fallen branches and dead trunks. Now a hot and dry spring, with more abnormally dry weather expected well into summer, has foresters bracing for what could be a brutal wildfire season. And they’re worried about the impact a prolonged drought will have on Minnesota’s trees. More wildfires had already broken out across the state by mid-June than in all of last year. The state typically has fewer than 1,200 wildfires a year, burning roughly 25,000 acres. So far this spring, more than 1,425 fires have burned roughly 35,000 acres of forest and grassland, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “I don’t see it going anywhere or mitigating soon,” said William Glesener, DNR wildfire operations supervisor. “This is a period when we should be having very few fires, but we’re adding about 50 a week. We’re really going to be in it in a couple weeks when things really dry out…”

Santa Rosa, California, Press-Democrat, June 25, 2021: Sonoma County landscapers, nurseries find uptick in business with drought-tolerant plants, trees

The path up to Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards in the hills northeast of Windsor, through the years became one of the most scenic drives within Sonoma County. Its entrance, which gave way to nicely paved roads lined by tall eucalyptus trees, captivated visitors and provided them with the perfect setting to begin a day of wine tasting. But during the 2019 Kincade fire, those eucalyptus trees were identified as a potential hazard as the blaze burned its way closer and closer to Chalk Hill Road. Ultimately, though, while the wildfire did threaten the winery it only caused limited damage to nonessential buildings and equipment, as well as the outer portions of the vineyards. “After talking with the firefighters, we learned those things (eucalyptus trees) are just basically what they call ‘liquid kerosene.’ We were really worried, coming into another drought,” said Shaun Harder, chief of staff for Foley Family Wines, which owns the winery. Like many other local businesses and residents, the winery turned to Jeff Allen of Allen Land Design to redesign the landscape in an era of climate change, which this year means living with what has been classified as an exceptional drought…

Bloomberg Green, June 23, 2021: California’s Drought Is So Bad That Almond Farmers Are Ripping Out Trees

Christine Gemperle is about to do what almond farmers fear the most: rip out her trees early. Water is so scarce on her orchard in California’s Central Valley that she’s been forced to let a third of her acreage go dry. In the irrigated areas, the lush, supple trees are dewy in the early morning, providing some relief from the extreme heat. Walking over to the dry side, you can actually feel the temperature start to go up as you’re surrounded by the brittle, lifeless branches that look like they could crumble into dust. “Farming’s very risky,” said Gemperle, who will undertake the arduous process of pulling out all her trees on the orchard this fall, replacing them with younger ones that don’t need as much moisture. It’s a tough decision. Almond trees are typically a 25-year investment, and if it weren’t for the drought, these trees could’ve made it through at least another growing season, if not two. Now, they’ll be ground up into mulch. “I don’t think a lot of people understand just how risky this business is, and it’s a risk that’s associated with something you can’t control at all: The weather,” she said. It’s a stark reminder of the devastating toll that the drought gripping the West will take on U.S. agriculture, bringing with it the risk of food inflation…

Frederick, Maryland, News Post, June 24, 2021: Why are so many Frederick County residents turning to Tree Farming? Part IV: Wildlife

Depending on geographic and climate conditions, different trees grow in a tree farm or family forest. These differences define which ecological community may call it home. A forest with a diversity of canopy levels has more potential to attract a greater variety of wildlife, and unbroken sections of forest can also host a group of animals called Forest Interior Dwelling Species, or FIDS. In Frederick County, for example, a ridge-top forest such as Gambrill State Park is mostly composed of chestnut, oaks, red maple, black gum, and a variety of pines. These create favorable denning habitats for bear, bobcat, gray fox, rattlesnake and perhaps the Alleghany wood rat, an endangered species known to exist in Frederick County. In contrast, in marshy glade areas such as the floodplain around Jan and Dave Barrow’s Middle Creek tree farm, trees such as hazel alder, ninebark, silky dogwood, black willow, arrow wood viburnum, hazelnut and bladderwort dominate. These create attractive habitat for woodcock, red winged blackbird, waterfowl, beavers, muskrat, weasel and bear. Old fields, left fallow for five to 10 years, will grow herbaceous plants such as grasses, forbs, brambles and sedges, along with scattered woody plants like cedar, flowering dogwood, redbud, wild cherry and elm, to name a few. These “pioneer” species typically colonize their sites through wind- or wildlife-dispersed seed…

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Phillyvoice, June 24, 2021: Police kick out group holding exorcism ‘for the dead trees’ at Pennsylvania Home Depot

There are places to hold an exorcism and places to maybe avoid holding an exorcism. Any guess where the lumber aisle of a Home Depot falls? A police report from Dickson City in Lackawanna County raised eyebrows this week for its bizarre description of an incident that happened Monday. “3:26pm: Commerce Blvd. @ Home Depot for disorderly people having an exorcism in the lumber isle (sic) for the dead trees,” authorities wrote. “They were escorted out of the building.” A call placed to Dickson City police elicited a chuckle from one officer. “There were two people hanging out in the lumber department doing their little exorcism thing,” the officer said. “Some people at the store started picking up that something was happening that was not necessarily normal. Police were called to the store and they were escorted out of the building.” The individuals involved will not be charged, the officer said. “It was a séance type of thing for the dead,” he said…

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, KOKI-TV, June 24, 2021: Local tree service adapts to skilled labor shortage with technology

With workforce shortages, some businesses say they’re having to evolve and adapt to meet daily demands. Todd Rickert, owner of Rickert Landscaping and Tree Service, says it’s become a challenge to not just find workers but also skilled workers. He said the tree removal process requires specialty jobs where people need to have a proper driving record and the right capabilities to do the task safely. Rickert said, “It’s not like colleges are putting out a hundred new tree climbers every year.” He added, “It’s more of an apprenticeship type thing where we train or have other employees that work for other industries and cross over.” Rickert said there’s becoming less and less of these skilled workers. He said the pay is not the issue and said workers can make about $50 an hour while doing storm work on the weekends. Rickert believes it may just be a lack of interest in the job. He added, “It doesn’t matter how much we offer to pay. We may not attract new workers.” In order to make for the loss, Rickert says the business recently made a large investment that cuts down the number of people needed on a job and allows them to cut and remove a tree by simply using a remote control. Instead of needing four people for one job, Rickert says they can get the same job done with just two, and in less time. He said the truck makes their projects more efficient and safer for their employees. He said the truck is the first of its kind in Tulsa…

London, UK, Times, June 24, 2021: Battle over birdsong ends with tree being sliced in half

Hilarious photos circulating online show what happens when neighborly conflict is taken to the extreme. A tree, located on the very edge of one property, has been allegedly been sawed in half vertically by its next-door neighbor, and photos from the scene are prompting people to weigh in. The conflict between Mistry and his neighbors, Graham and Irene Lee, began about a year ago. “It has been there for 25 years and we’d trimmed [it] into a ball shape with an agreement with the [neighbor] and he has been fine about it,” Mistry explained. Recently, however, the Lees allegedly expressed that the birds living in the tree were too loud and created a mess. Mistry told WalesOnline that his neighbors “started off by putting black bin liners in the tree to stop the birds sitting there.” From there, things seemed to escalate: “Last weekend he said he was going to get a tree surgeon to cut it down and we asked him not to but they came on Friday and did it.” “We were absolutely distraught,” said Mistry. “We pleaded and pleaded with them not to do it, but their mind was made up. That tree was coming down.” A Reddit post documenting the bizarre feud gained traction on the platform, where it was described as “some traditional British pettiness on display.” Since then, it appears the photo’s owner has deleted the image, but hundreds of comments regarding the dispute still remain on the site. Many commenters used the forum to share their own experiences with neighborly, garden-related conflicts…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, June 23, 2021: Darien resident files PURA complaint over Eversource tree trimming

Eversource returned to Little Brook Road Wednesday to prune trees along its large power lines, prompting one neighbor to file a complaint with the state. The road has been at the center of a debate involving the power company’s plans to remove about 50 trees due to what it says are safety reasons. Last week during a meeting with residents, Eversource officials observed that there was electrical arcing taking place, due to branches being too close to the power lines. Two dozen workers, most of whom were contracted by Eversource through Davis Tree Service, came to trim back branches along a 200-yard stretch that runs adjacent to the railroad tracks, just south of Little Brook Road. While utility officials said it was an emergency operation to avert the potential danger of nearby trees becoming charged with electricity, neighbor Natalie Tallis, who has led the opposition to the work, claimed that was not the case. “I believe that Eversource is violating state and municipal laws,” she wrote to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. She said the utility has “wrongfully and intentionally misinterpreted” the law, overstepping its right to trim and remove trees. Tallis wrote that she asked Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson to consider having the town’s legal counsel challenge Eversource claims. However, Tallis told PURA that Stevenson rejected her request. “For the record, I have not rejected any of your requests,” Stevenson responded. “I am in contact with Darien’s attorney, who is assisting me with the town’s authorities regarding this matter.” After visiting the road Wednesday morning, Stevenson also confirmed that the work was being done on state Department of Transportation property in response to last week’s arcing, as well as some other work to be done on the opposite end of the road in the Eversource easement area that’s on private property…

Albany, New York, Times-Union, June 23, 2021: Ruling disallowing tree-cutting for snowmobiles creating uncertainty

A ruling last month by the state’s highest court blocking tree removal for snowmobile trails in protected forest areas has created uncertainty for other recreational projects in the Adirondack Forest Preserve. That uncertainty could result in some trail crews keeping their focus on private lands or on construction and maintenance work that doesn’t require tree cutting, as the Adirondack Mountain Club said it planned. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has declined to respond to questions that include what would come of the 19 or so miles of snowmobile trails already built; how the decision would affect other trail work; how the DEC was interpreting the handling of a constitutionally protected tree; whether the agency would pursue a constitutional amendment to authorize the snowmobile trail,. and what guidance the department would provide to trail crews heading into their summer season. A spokesperson on May 25 would only say, “DEC remains committed to thoughtful stewardship of the Forest Preserve for the use and enjoyment of the public and protection of this resource. DEC is carefully and thoroughly analyzing the court’s decision and determining the implications for DEC’s varied and complex work.” The Adirondack Park Agency also did not respond to similar questions, except to say that the state attorney general’s office was reviewing the decision. Ben Brosseau, director of communications for the Adirondack Mountain Club, said last year’s DEC guidance held that trail crews were not allowed to cut trees on the forest preserve while the case was pending. “We expect new guidance for hiking trail work to come out by mid to late summer,” Brosseau said. The club is continuing trail work in some areas of the park that do not involve tree cutting. Crews continue to work on projects at Avalanche Lake, Phelps Trail past Johns Brook Lodge, and a new project on Mount Jo. The Mount Jo project is on private property, so is not affected by the court decision. Brousseau said the club will reroute the Long Trail because a large section is eroded into a streambed…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, June 23, 2021: Peasant couple accidentally planted the world’s most expensive mangoes and now need private security

Sometimes wealth is the product of effort and hard work, and other times it is mere luck. That is clear to the peasant couple Rani and Sankalp Parihar , who accidentally planted some of the most expensive mangoes in the world . Now they have Miyazaki mango trees whose cost per kilo is around 270,000 rupees (about $ 3,630 or 74,600 Mexican pesos). The story of these horticulturists, inhabitants of the city of Jabalpur, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India, seems like something out of a movie. It all started four years ago, when the Parihar went to Chennai, in the south of the country, to buy some trees to plant. On the train he met a mysterious man who offered him the valuable plants. “He offered me these saplings and asked me to take care of them like our babies. We planted them in the orchard without knowing what variety of mangoes they would produce, ” Sankalp told The Times of India . In 2020, when the trees grew and began to bear fruit, they noticed that they were very different from other more common types of mangoes. These had a rather unusual intense ruby color.“Since I didn’t know the name of this variety, I named the fruit after my mother Damini. Later, we did research on this variety and found the real name. But he’s still Damini for me , “Parihar added. To his surprise, they turned out to be Miyazaki mangoes originating in Japan, which are among the most expensive in the world…

USA Today, June 21, 2021: One of the ‘deadliest plants in North America’ is blooming. What to know about poison hemlock

Poison hemlock, a dangerous weed that has only been in the Buckeye State for a few years, is in full bloom this week in North Central Ohio. The hazardous plant is more visible in the area this year than ever before, according to Jason Hartschuh, Ohio State University Extension agent for Crawford County. “It’s everywhere. You about can’t drive U.S. 30 and not see it,” Hartschuh said. “It keeps spreading by wildlife and by water and flood plains.” Poison hemlock started making news in 2019 when it was reported to have spread across southern Ohio. Now it’s abundant across the state. The plant is also prevalent in Pennsylvania. The plant can be deadly if eaten, said professors Joe Boggs and Erik Draper, in The Ohio State University’s Buckeye Yard & Garden online blog. “Poison hemlock is one of the deadliest plants in North America,” they wrote. “Plants contain highly toxic piperidine alkaloid compounds, including coniine and gamma-Coniceine, which cause respiratory failure and death in mammals. The roots are more toxic than the leaves and stems; however, all parts of the plant including the seeds should be considered dangerous.” The plant is in the carrot family, as is Queen Anne’s Lace, and their similarities can make them hard to differentiate. “The roots of wild carrot, or Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota), are sometimes eaten raw or cooked,” the professors wrote. “Unfortunately, they bear a striking resemblance to poison hemlock roots and misidentifications have been responsible for a number of accidental poisonings.” Farmers who have pasture land will want to keep an eye out for poison hemlock to ensure none of it is growing where their animals are grazing…

SciTech Daily, June 22, 2021: Tree Pollen Facilitates COVID-19 Virus Spread – Carries SARS-CoV-2 Particles Farther

Most models explaining how viruses are transmitted focus on viral particles escaping one person to infect a nearby person. A study on the role of microscopic particles in how viruses are transmitted suggests pollen is nothing to sneeze at. In Physics of Fluids, by AIP Publishing, Talib Dbouk and Dimitris Drikakis investigate how pollen facilitates the spread of an RNA virus like the COVID-19 virus. The study draws on cutting-edge computational approaches for analyzing fluid dynamics to mimic the pollen movement from a willow tree, a prototypical pollen emitter. Airborne pollen grains contribute to the spread of airborne viruses, especially in crowded environments. “To our knowledge, this is the first time we show through modeling and simulation how airborne pollen micrograins are transported in a light breeze, contributing to airborne virus transmission in crowds outdoors,” Drikakis said. The researchers noticed a correlation between COVID-19 infection rates and the pollen concentration on the National Allergy Map. Each pollen grain can carry hundreds of virus particles at a time. Trees alone can put 1,500 grains per cubic meter into the air on heavy days. The researchers set to work by creating all the pollen-producing parts of their computational willow tree. They simulated outdoor gatherings of roughly 10 or 100 people, some of them shedding COVID-19 particles, and subjected the people to 10,000 pollen grains…

The Conversation, June 22, 2021: A lone tree makes it easier for birds and bees to navigate farmland, like a stepping stone between habitats

Vast, treeless paddocks and fields can be dangerous for wildlife, who encounter them as “roadblocks” between natural areas nearby. But our new research found even one lone tree in an otherwise empty paddock can make a huge difference to an animal’s movement. We focused on the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, a biodiversity hotspot with 1,361 different known species of wildlife, such as jaguars, sloths, tamarins and toucans. Habitat loss from expanding and intensifying farmland, however, increasingly threatens the forest’s rich diversity of species and ecosystems. We researched the value of paddock trees and hedges for birds and bees, and found small habitat features like these can double how easily they find their way through farmland. This is important because enabling wildlife to journey across farmlands not only benefits the conservation of species, but also people. It means bees can improve crop pollination, and seed-dispersing birds can help restore ecosystems. Lone trees in paddocks, hedges and tree-lined fences are common features of farmlands across the world, from Brazil to Australia. They may be few and far between, but this scattered vegetation makes important areas of refuge for birds and bees, acting like roads or stepping stones to larger natural habitats nearby. Scattered paddock trees, for instance, offer shelter, food, and places to land. They’ve also been found to create cooler areas within their canopy and right beneath it, providing some relief on scorching summer days…

Tacoma, Washington, News Tribune, June 22, 2021: Neighbors rally to save native oak trees threatened by Lakewood warehouse proposal

It’s no secret to those living in Lakewood that the city is seeking to beef up its business sector. The city’s south side — near I-5 and Joint Base Lewis-McChord — has seen the announcement of a new Amazon warehouse, a possible occupation by Tesla and planned relocation of Aero Precision. There’s more to come. “Certainly, we are, you know, business-focused, and we invite development, and you can see the number of … warehouses going up,” said Jim Kopriva, communications manager for the city of Lakewood. The latest development comes at what some see as an unacceptable price. An 8-plus-acre property at 4901 123rd St. SW could be home to Lakewood’s next warehouse. It’s also home to over 100 oak trees native to Washington state. Some residents are fighting to save them. Lakewood resident Christina Manetti has seen warehouses pop up and the Garry oaks come down. Her fear of even more Garry oaks being destroyed across Lakewood has led her to rally additional residents and experts in an effort to save the trees on 4901 123rd St. SW…

Phys.org, June 22, 2021: Future wood use assures long-term climate benefit from commercial forests

A new study published in Nature Communications demonstrates the important role that planting new commercial forests could play in the fight against climate change by including new accounting of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation achieved from future use of harvested wood. The study applied a novel, time-dependent assessment to capture the complex dynamics of carbon uptake, storage and partial eventual release back to the atmosphere, alongside product and energy substitution by wood products, over a 100-year timeframe. Uniquely, the study considered multiple wood uses along multi-decadal cascading value chains (e.g. construction timber to paper to bioenergy), and future projections on wider decarbonisation of substituted products and energy (to avoid overestimating future substitution “credits” derived from use of wood). “Our goal was to undertake a really comprehensive life cycle assessment that considers the whole life cycle of carbon taken up by trees in new commercial forests” says Eilidh Forster, a Ph.D. student in Bangor University and lead author of the study. “Because new forests won’t be harvested for another 50 years, the standard assessment approach of applying current technology emission factors to wood value chains is inaccurate. Therefore, we decided to apply projections of future technology deployment to better represent the likely long-term climate change mitigation achieved by harvested wood…”

Plymouth, Michigan, Observer, June 21, 2021: Plymouth Township tree ordinance discussion enrages residents concerned with restrictions

A preliminary proposal to add more teeth to a 74-year-old Plymouth Township tree ordinance upset a few residents so much that one threatened to bring a chainsaw to a trustees meeting. Plymouth Township Supervisor Kurt Heise emphasized the process of revamping the township’s current tree ordinance, which is based on Public Act 359 of 1947, should begin with borrowing the City of Plymouth’s recently-enacted tree laws and then tailoring them based on the guidance offered by the board of trustees and residents. “I’m putting (the Plymouth tree ordinance) out there as a starting-off point to show what is probably one of the most restrictive — depending on your point of view — and detailed ordinances from a comparable community, but one that has also gone through a very thorough vetting process,” Heise said. Heise explained his idea to start with Plymouth’s ordinance and alter it for the township as residents and trustees see fit as a money- and time-saver. “As much as I respect (township attorney) Kevin Bennett, I’d prefer not to have to pay him to start from scratch and draft a whole new ordinance,” Heise said. “It is not my intention to use Plymouth’s tree ordinance, word for word, as the township’s ordinance. It’s a starting point…”

Cape Girardeau, Missouri, KFVS-TV, June 21, 2021: Charleston woman makes effort to preserve historic Dogwood Tree

“I just want the tree to live. I can’t have my dad but I can have the tree,” Sandy Coffer-Ruff said. The 32 ft long and 39 ft wide tree is located at Coffer-Ruff’s childhood home in Charleston. She said her father, Henry Coffer, took care of the tree up till his last breath. “It feels like my dad’s tombstone,” Coffer-Ruff said. She’s concerned it may be damaged due to work on the sidewalk that was done by the state.“I want the tree to live so my great grandkids can see it,” Coffer-Ruff said. She said the sidewalk construction, just steps from the front door, started about a month ago. Around that time is when she noticed the bark falling apart, clipped branches and tree roots nearby. “This isn’t normal. You shouldn’t be able to do that to a tree. Other side there is a big crack,” Coffer-Ruff said. For help, she reached out to conservation experts. She was told factors such as bugs and the tree’s size can be a threat, on top of added stress from construction. “I just look at it every day. I just feel like if the tree dies then it’s like my dad’s funeral all over again,” Coffer-Ruff said…

Reason, June 21, 2021: Malibu Man Fined $4.2 Million Over Disputed Beachfront Gate

When Warren and Henny Lent bought their Malibu beach house in 2002, it was the realization of a lifelong goal. Warren, a doctor by training, says he worked a second job on top of the time he put in at a Beverly Hills plastic surgery practice just to afford the down payment. It was “a dream come true which lasted about two months,” Lent says. That was when the Lents learned, via a casual conversation with a neighbor, that their house had a five-foot-wide public access easement along its eastern side that people could use to get down to the water. These easements aren’t uncommon, and at first, the Lents didn’t think much about the fact that their home had one too. After all, it wasn’t like their side yard made for a great means of accessing the beach given that it contained two steep drops, and that running underneath the whole thing was a large storm drain which could make building anything on top of it an engineering challenge. Nevertheless, this easement put the Lents on a collision course with one of the most powerful agencies in the state, and one with a history of antagonizing property owners: the California Coastal Commission (CCC). Beginning in 2007, the commission began demanding that the couple remove a gate and stairs obscuring their side yard so it could build its own improvements there. The Lents said they would comply once the commission was actually ready to break ground. Negotiations continued until 2016, when the commission—tired of arguing and newly empowered to issue fines—slapped the couple with a $4.2 million penalty. This remains one of the largest fines the commission has ever handed out…

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, WBRZ-TV, June 20, 2021: New protections for Louisiana cypress trees signed into law

cypress210621Louisiana’s iconic bald cypress trees will be protected on state-owned property, after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a new law banning the trees’ harvesting on more than 1 million acres (404,685 hectares) of state land. Rep. Neil Riser told The Advertiser that he sponsored the bill — which won unanimous passage in the House and Senate — to give nature time to reestablish dense stands of cypress that once covered vast tracts of land. “The cypress tree symbolizes Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta,” said Riser, a Columbia Republican. “I hope this new law will help people have a true appreciation of these trees’ majesty.” The new law doesn’t apply to cypress trees growing on privately-owned land. Cypress trees grow throughout Louisiana’s swamps and can have lifespans of more than 1,000 years. The bald cypress was named the official Louisiana state tree in 1963. Riser said the forests will return on state-owned lands with protection, though it will take almost a century for the slow-growth trees to mature…

Washington, D.C., Times, June 20, 2021: Obama’s BLM director pulls support for Tracy Stone-Manning over tree-spiking incident

President Barack Obama’s first Bureau of Land Management director has pulled his support for Tracy Stone-Manning, saying she should withdraw her nomination to head the agency over her involvement in a tree-spiking case three decades ago. Bob Abbey, who led the agency from 2009-2012, said he initially supported her selection, but that recent reports about her “questionable past” raise questions about her judgment and would bring “needless controversy” to the agency charged with managing 245 million acres of federal lands. “If the reports regarding Ms. Stone-Manning’s involvement with spiking trees are true then I firmly believe she should immediately withdraw her name from further consideration for the BLM director job,” Mr. Abbey told The Washington Times in an email. In her 1993 federal court testimony, Ms. Stone-Manning admitted to retyping, editing and mailing an anonymous warning letter on behalf of an activist who had participated in an extensive tree-spiking operation in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest. She received prosecutorial immunity to testify against the activist, who was found guilty and sentenced to 17 months in prison…

avocado210621New York City, The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2021: Thieves Find Money That Grows on Trees: ‘Avocados Are the Green Gold’

Avocado farmer Mark Alcock has motion-activated infrared cameras dotting 170 acres of groves that send intruder alerts to his phone. The beeps typically wake him at least once an hour, every night. It’s usually bush pigs, porcupines or baboons. “But there’s always that chance it’ll be someone coming to steal,” he said. “It’s just getting out of hand.” The cameras are part of an elaborate antitheft system that includes a rapid-response team run by an ex-military man and expert in tracker dogs. South Africa is the world’s sixth-largest avocado exporter, and farmers like Mr. Alcock are entangled in a cat-and-mouse game with fruit thieves who abscond with thousands of pounds at a time. Many avocado growers have resorted to security measures borrowed from gold mines and other big-money targets. “As the value of the product rises, the accessibility of it rises because there’s more orchards being planted,” said Howard Blight, who grows avocados, macadamia nuts and dragon fruit on his nearly 350-acre farm. The property is guarded by an electric fence standing more than 7-feet high and topped with barbed wire. Guards patrol the farm 24/7. “It seems a bit drastic,” Mr. Blight said. “But avocados are the green gold…”

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, June 17, 2021: About to plant a tree or shrub? Wait it out until fall

If you have been planning to plant or transplant a tree or shrub this year and haven’t gotten around to it, consider waiting until fall. “Even in a normal year, summer is not the best time to plant or transplant,” said Sharon Yiesla, plant knowledge specialist at in the Plant Clinic of The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. “And this year we’re in a drought.” Planting in summer has extra risks, because the heat makes soil and plants dry out faster. As the temperature rises, water evaporates more quickly. In this drought year — one of the driest on record — rainfall is not likely to provide enough water for plants. “At this point, homeowners might be better off waiting until late summer or early fall to purchase or transplant trees or shrubs,” she said. Plants are mostly water, and they need a steady, reliable water supply to survive. Between 80% and 90% of the weight of any green plant consists of the water that fills its cells. Even a mature tree, with its woody trunk and branches, is about 50% water. In summer, plants cool themselves by allowing water to escape through tiny holes in their leaves, taking heat with it. The water that evaporates needs to be replaced in order for the plant to keep functioning…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, June 17, 2021: Eversource: ‘Imminent risk’ prompted Darien tree removals

Eversource officials have reaffirmed their stance that last week’s tree trimming along Little Brook Road was necessary for “safety reasons.” Sean Redding, head of Eversource’s vegetation management, visited the road on Wednesday, explaining to First Selectman Jayme Stevenson and residents that the pruning was an emergency measure necessary for safety reasons. But neighbors continue to question the company’s plans for the tree removal along the street. “We’re here today to continue our collaboration so we can come up with the best resolution,” Stevenson said. Eversource began trimming trees along Little Brook Road last Friday to eliminate what company representatives called an “imminent risk” to the electric system. The work was completed in a day, and company representatives stated no trees were to be outright removed. Neighbors, who are fighting Eversource’s proposed removal of some 50 trees along the south side of the intersection of Little Brook and North Little Brook roads, say the electric company’s trimming plan was not warranted. Natalie Tallis and her neighbors along Little Brook and North Little Brook roads have called on Stevenson to file a formal complaint with the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority concerning the work. Stevenson has not filed a complaint, but acknowledged the neighbors have that right. The town’s tree warden has placed warning signs on some 50 trees, which sit at the south side of the intersection of Little Brook and North Little Brook roads. These trees have been tagged for removal as part of Eversource’s tree trimming and hazardous tree removal program…

Raleigh, North Carolina, News & Observer, June 17, 2021: Falling tree kills 64-year-old man walking on trail in North Carolina park, police say

A 64-year-old hiker died after a tree fell and hit him on a North Carolina trail, officials said. The man was rushed to a hospital after he was found unconscious Tuesday morning at Bur-Mil Park in Greensboro, according to the city’s police department. The hiker — identified as Howard Huey Shepherd — was later pronounced dead, police spokesperson Ronald Glenn told McClatchy News in an email. Shepherd was struck when a tree toppled near Big Loop Trail, a walking and biking path that stretches about 2 miles. “A preliminary site review reveals that the tree was 50 yards away from the trail when it fell,” Guilford County said Wednesday in a news release. Big Loop Trail closed Tuesday and was expected to reopen before the weekend…

The Atlantic, June 17, 2021: A Better Way to Look at Trees

Above all else in the plant kingdom, trees make good trellises for our self-regarding thoughts. Robert Frost knew this when he wrote “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.” A woodland is the right spot to yield to reflection. Though the life of a tree has little in common with the life of a person, we are accustomed to approaching trees on personal, even introspective, terms. As trunk is a synonym for torso, as branch can be interchangeable with limb, trees of great variety (especially the old ones) give body to human concerns. Consider the coastal eucalyptus, forced by sea winds to grow prostrate along the ground—how the maxim “Better bend than break” takes shape in its supplicating posture. Or meditate on Sakura, the cherry blossom, and its instructive transience. We look to trees for their symbolism, and to have our own comparatively stunted existence put into perspective. High up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, bristlecone pines preside—seemingly more stone than wood, partly fossilized. Some rise from saplings at a tempo so slow that they endure through generations, even whole civilizations—thousands of years—living off the ephemeral sustenance that all trees rely on: light, water, a smattering of nutrients drawn from the soil. These ancient pines have been called sages and sentinels, as though it were their edict to stand watch over cycles of human progress and folly. Yet have we ever really understood trees in the plural? Since the turn of the millennium, a remarkable recasting of our attention—away from the gravitas of individual trees and toward the question of what trees do together, as a collective—has been under way…

Fox News, June 17, 2021: Dad rips into neighbor who reported family’s tree fort to HOA: ‘You’re safe now’

One dad is using public shaming for a neighbor who allegedly reported his family’s tree fort to their homeowner association. The dad, who goes by the first name Dave, printed out a scathing letter that condemned his neighbor’s tattling, according to a snapshot uploaded to Reddit’s “Facepalm” forum – a subreddit that’s dedicated to sharing “the stupidity of people online and IRL.” Sporting a plastic sheet cover and two green tacks that were hammered into the offending tree, the open letter confronts the anonymous neighbor who reportedly tipped off the HOA. “Dear Anonymous Passerby,” the letter begins. “Don’t worry, you’re safe now! Your act of casual cruelty was successful. The complaint you lodged with the HOA was heard. They had me take down the small treefort that I built on this location with my sons during the pandemic.” Dave adds: “No longer will its presence offend your walk past my house. Please enjoy your stroll free from the sound of my children’s play and laughter. They are safely back inside now, watching television I’m sure. Enjoy the unobstructed view of my backyard. I will try to keep it up to code.” The Reddit user who shared the disgruntled note characterized the neighbor as being a “Karen,” a modern-day pejorative used to describe an entitled or unreasonably demanding woman. With no additional context provided, the Redditor suggested the Karen-like neighbor decided “that children’s fun isn’t enough of a reason to have a treehouse…”

Tampa, Florida, Tampa Bay Times, June 17, 2021: More people have died around Florida Power & Light’s lines than any other Florida utility

Eliseo De La Guardia was climbing an avocado tree behind a Broward County duplex when the limb he was balancing on got too close to a power line carrying 7,620 volts. The contact sent electricity through his body. For years, neighbors had complained to the power company that the lines dividing the small block’s backyards were choked by tree limbs. When branches touched the lines, home lights dimmed and electricity visibly jumped from one stretch to another. And when the wind blew, the avocado tree’s branches would hit the wires and spark. Florida Power & Light, which provides electricity to about half of the state, knew of at least nine times trees on that block interfered with power lines in the years leading up to the accident, according to court records. But when De La Guardia climbed the avocado tree to pick fruit in January 2013, the company hadn’t performed routine trimming there for 15 years. Two days later, De La Guardia died from his injuries. He was 42. People are electrocuted at a higher rate in Florida Power & Light’s service area than almost any other electricity provider in the state, a Tampa Bay Times analysis found. The only two that outpaced it were small power companies serving areas of north Florida…

St. Louis, Missouri, KMOV-TV, June 16, 2021: Jennings woman concerned about massive tree limbs falling and damaging her property

One by one, branches from a dead tree are falling and destroying the backyard of Dorothy Franklin’s Jennings home. “I have it rough right now,” she said. The 65-year-old says the concern began growing last fall when a limb fell from the tree and landed on the grass not causing any damage. But Franklin says the limbs that are falling now are much bigger and causing major damage. The second limb fell on Sunday hitting her truck. “I was sitting in my room and all of a sudden I heard a boom and my dogs started barking,” she said. And the third one came down Tuesday morning crashing into the patio. She’s worried the next limb will hit her home. “They need to hurry and get this tree because I’m fearing for my life,” she said. “I’m fearing for my dog’s life.” News 4 found the dead tree sits in Franklin’s neighbor’s yard. Insurance experts and state tree removal regulations say it will be Franklin’s neighbor’s responsibility to remove the dead tree. News 4 called the property owner and he said he’s working with his insurance company to get the tree removed and fix Franklin’s truck. Ordinances in St. Louis City say if the city’s forestry division sees a tree is a danger to the public, they have the right to enter private property to inspect or remove the tree. News 4 has reported on concerns of dead trees falling on residents homes in the past. In 2019, St. Louis City spent $1 million to remove more than 2,000 dead trees. And in St. Louis County, they have a 311 hotline were residents can request tree removal…

Good News Network, June 16, 2021: This Single Tree Could Restore Degraded Land, Create a Biofuel Revolution, Power Cars, and Feed Families

Growing across much of Asia, it’s known by many names: including Indian Beech, pongamia, Karum tree, kranji, and malapari. Pongamia pinnata is a member of the pea family that is being considered by Indonesian forestry experts for potential landscape restoration and the future of bioenergy. A number of big challenges are bearing down on the Indonesian archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, and the government has to find ways in which it can restore 14 million hectares of degraded land to keep its promise to the UN, while also developing a green energy sector worth 23% of total grid contributions in just 5 years. The country’s natural gas and oil reserves are projected to dry up by 2030, even while energy demand—currently served by fossil fuels—is increasing. Enter the pongamia tree: growing well on degraded or marginal land in both wet and dry climates, it can be found from India to the west, right the way across to Fiji in the Pacific. For centuries, its orange/brown seeds have been pressed into oil for leather tanning, soap making, wound healing, and