I want to link observations made by two group that share an interest in imperiled trees; Santa Catalina Conservancy and The American Chestnut Foundation. The Santa Catalina Conservancy reports that their staff monitor 14 Cercocarpus trees know to exist on the island each summer. Conservancy biologists visit the gully to assess the health and growth patterns of the individuals. They report that only 6 of these are pure Cercocarpus traskiae. Five individuals are hybrids meaning genetically they are a combination of Cercocarpus trakiae and Cercocarpus betuloides blancheae. The genetics of the 3 remaining individuals has not been tested so it is unknown if they are pure or hybrids.
From the huge tree ranges of the willows and the common juniper, let’s consider the endemic tree species with very small ranges. The smallest tree range in the continental US must go to Franklinia, today it has a native range of zero square miles. It is a tree with a range that is lost in time. The species has not been seen in nature since 1790. Seeds taken by the discoverer have been propagated in the Northeast. Has anyone ever seen a specimen of … the dendrologist’s Ivory-billed Woodpecker?
Back in 1992 I developed a Local-Native-Tree database to permit people to identify the quadrant where they lived in the continental United States. They could then get a list of all the native trees known to occur in their location. My original idea was just to permit people who might want to plant, water and protect a tree to select a species that is a natural part of the local environment rather than a non-native, a cultivar or worst of all an invasive species. Eventually, I started to think beyond that single capability and wondered “What else could I learn from this unique collection of more than 80,000 quadrant-species associations that make up the database that I had available?” Looking at this large and daunting dataset, the first simple question I asked was “What species of tree has the largest range in the continental US?”
Coyote Willow (Salix exigua) is also called basket, sandbar or narrowleaf willow and it occurs as a shrug to a small tree reaching approximately 25 feet high. This unobtrusive tree is so under appreciated that it earned just two sentences in Dirr’s massive Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs. The local native tree database tells a more interesting story. This willow is capable of growing in a range that covers approximately 2,385,000 of the 2,959,064 square miles of land area comprising the continental United States! When one looks at the full range of S. exigua, the tree is even more impressive. The species can grow from northern Alaska, throughout most western Canadian provinces, the majority of the continental US and reaches as far south as Mexico. This incredibly large range suggests this humble tree has a tolerance to temperature extremes that is a wonder of the world. Moreover, the trait isn't limited to this species. Other members of the genus Salix also have impressive ranges. In descending order of range size, these include S. rigida, S. interior, S. amygdaloides and S. nigra. What could we learn about temperature tolerance if we investigated the genome of this extraordinary genus?
How to Plant a Tree
Allow for growth; dig twice as wide and deep.
Add soil amender to the raw red clay.
Remove the rope. Take burlap bag away.
Surround the root ball, mulch and go to sleep.
And as the roots unfold and slowly creep,
you’ll dream of branches long that lean and sway.
And after many years, you’ll see—one day,
against the sky, bright leaves that softly sweep.
No matter where you roam, it will remain.
And it will stay and wait for you, alone.
Out there, it will withstand the cold, the rain,
and, in December, winds that cry and moan.
And when you then return, one day, in pain,
you’ll find there shade—a shelter and a home.
-- Alan Sugar
#greatamericantree This is the state of Arkansas Champion Bald Cypress Tree. the tree has a circumference of 516 inches, a crown spread of 93 feet, height of 120 feet, with a bigness index of 638. The land is owned by U.S. Fish and Wildlife service. This tree is special due to its size, age and the tree is majestic, photos do not do it justice. The Tree is located in Arkansas County on US Fish and Wildlife property. Think of the stories this tree could tell. This tree likely survived the logging in the past from being in a swampy location.
People can turn to the strength of trees as a symbol of hope and healing.
The 6-minute video is worth the watch.
Disease of slash and loblolly pines persists in the southeastern United States
Fusiform rust, a fungal disease caused by Cronartium quercum f. sp. fusiforme, is the most damaging disease of slash and loblolly pines in the southeastern United States. There are currently over 60.3 million acres of slash and loblolly pine timberland in the Southeast, some of the most productive forests in the world. Forest managers rely on continued fusiform rust risk monitoring to choose which slash and loblolly pine stock to plant to avoid losses from the disease.
Newly published findings based on U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data show that though fusiform rust levels in slash and loblolly pine stands in some areas are lower than observed in the 1980s, in other areas the incidence of rust has changed very little in the last 30 years.
In 1972, annual South-wide losses from fusiform rust were estimated at around $28 million. Since then, millions of research dollars have been spent developing methods to select, breed, and outplant rust-resistant slash and loblolly pine stock.
Part of this effort included developing hazard zone maps for both slash and loblolly pine based on the analysis of FIA data. Published in 1997 in a report by Forest Service researcher Dale Starkey, the maps were widely used by forest pathologists, tree improvement specialists, and forest managers to make decisions about which planting stock to use on their lands.
As a result of decades of effort, productivity on pine plantations has doubled from what it was in 1940, and there’s been some evidence that rust incidence and tree mortality from the disease has been greatly reduced in areas once deemed “high hazard,” and especially on commercially owned lands where the best available genetic sources of resistance to fusiform rust have been planted.
Prompted by questions and statements from the field, KaDonna Randolph, research mathematical statistician with the Forest Service Southern Research Station FIA unit, was asked to update Starkey’s rust hazard maps using FIA data and evaluate changes in regional rust incidence between the late 1970s and the early 2010s.
Through the analysis of FIA data, Randolph and fellow researchers Ellis Cowling and Dale Starkey found that despite some decreases in fusiform rust incidence over the last 30 to 40 years, rust hazard remains high throughout much of the southeastern United States. They also found that rust incidence was about equal in planted and natural loblolly stands but was higher in planted versus natural stands of slash pine.
The results for slash pine were surprising. The reasons were unclear, but one reason may be the origin of planting stock, which was unknown and may be highly variable in terms of rust resistance.
Data from the analysis was used to update Starkey’s 1997 disease risk maps. The updated maps are included in the article and can be used to guide the planting of rust-resistant stock appropriate to specific areas.
“Because rust hazard remains moderate to high throughout much of the southeastern U.S. for both slash and loblolly pines, continued deployment of rust-resistant seedlings is recommended,” said Randolph. “It’s also necessary to continue rust research and monitoring programs so that the gains in genetic resistance achieved so far are not lost.”
For more information, email KaDonna Randolph at email@example.com.
Multiple branch cankers such as those pictured above are symptomatic of fusiform rust disease. Photo by Robert L. Anderson, U.S. Forest Service, courtesy of Bugwood.org.
The essential elements of any landscape are trees. Trees are a long-term investment and also the longest living plants that we can grow in our garden. A healthy tree can live up to centuries if it is provided proper protection and is not harmed externally. However, it is so important to choose the right tree for the right place. If a tree is planted in a place where it doesn't fit in, it will devalue your property rather than putting any value to it. This is why it is essential to know why and where you are going to plant a tree.
Choosing the Right Tree:
Many people follow the approach of buying a tree first, coming home and then deciding where to plant it, which is a very wrong approach. You first need to make a complete survey of the place where you want the tree and then determine why you need it there, only then can you choose the right one. You cannot call a tree “superior” in-breed than the other. There are hundreds of excellent varieties out there to choose from. Hence, after you have decided which tree you want at what spot, move on to getting a soil checkup to determine if that specific breed can grow well in your garden. Once you have gone through this process, you can go and purchase the tree you want. Following are a few types of trees:
1. Green Ash
Green Ash is known to be very vigorous when young and eventually grown a broad crown as it matures. This tree is particularly strong and can grow in a number of soils and is also drought-resistant.
2. Red Maple
Red Maples is a tree that sings of spring. As soon as the spring spreads through the air, it starts to produce red, beautiful flowers. This tree is also the first to signal the start of fall, as it changes its colors.
3. White Oak
It is said that a full-grown White Oak is one of the most majestic of the trees. They have sturdy and thick horizontal branches. It grows slowly, but handsomely.
1. Black Gum
One of the most beautiful tree species Black Gum has colors of scarlet and orange in fall. It is also extremely dense and lustrous green, with stiff, leathery leaves. The pros of planting this tree is the fact that it grows very fast.
2. River Birch
River Birch is known for its unique bark, which is salmon colored and comes off in thin layers. Eventually, as the tree matures, its bark becomes dark gray as well as scaly. Many people avoid planting River Birch because of its white birches.
3. Lacebark Elm
This tree is among the best ones for landscapes. They are durable and have beautiful barks. Its exfoliating bark is usually grey, with brown, green and orange underneath, but can vary in colors as well.
1. Japanese Maple
This small tree, or shrub as called by some, is grown because of its unique foliage. It has many different types however the ones that have beautiful red foliage are the most popular. For the best growth of this tree, a soil is rich as well as well drained is required.
2. Amur Maple
This is another smaller species of trees, which is extremely hard, short and round headed. Like many other maples, this tree develops bright red color during fall, which looks gorgeous. This tree has an extraordinary ability to grow in wet soil. However, it also can be grown in drier places.
Article by: Rachel Zoe - Certified Arborist at Enviro Frontier Sydney Tree Removal Company.
Help us find the Great American Tree for 2015!
Everyone has a favorite tree. It’s a landmark to your community, has a compelling story, or makes a huge environmental contribution. It personifies perseverance or is a testament to history. It’s grand and noble or small and dignified. Whatever statement your favorite tree makes, nominate it - in the first annual Great American Tree Competition.
Guidelines for nominations:
Nominations must include a photo (high resolution preferred), a description of why the tree is special, tree species, tree size (height and/or diameter) and the tree’s location (GPS or address). Nominations may be posted to any of the following: On your state grove, Facebook, Twitter (@plantyourlegacy), or as an attachment to an e-mail. You may also go to your state grove by using your "state name"grove.org domain name (e.g. newhampshiregrove.org).
All trees, no matter how they are submitted, will be posted to American Grove Great American Tree Page, where they will be voted upon. After winners from each state and/or territory are determined, an “all-star” urban forestry panel will cast its votes and The Great American Tree will be named.
April 30: Contest Begins. Submit by commenting on this blog or post (must be a member) or via our Facebook or Twitter Accounts by clicking on the links below.
June 30: Deadline for Nominations
July 31: Voting
August 1 - August 30th: Review of the top five trees and selection of the Great American Tree by a national panel
September 15th: Winner Announced!
The first place winner of the Great American Tree contest will receive $500 and a complimentary scholarship to the Partners in Community Forestry (PCF) Conference in Denver, CO, November 18-19, 2015. Second place is $250 and a PCF scholarship, and third place is $100. The PCF Conference is designed to provide inspiration and tools that help strengthen community forests.
Share your enthusiasm for America’s appreciation of trees by posting the tree that you think should be the Great American Tree! #greatamericantree
Believe it or not, this week marks the 20 anniversary of the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. One notable survivor of that fateful event is an elm tree which sat in a parking lot across from the Murrah building, and which is now the centerpiece of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. The following link is a short NPR interview with Mark Bays, the Oklahoma State Urban Forestry Coordinator, who played an important role in the tree's stewardship and survival.
As leaves bud out, a vibrant green envelops us. As the green comes to you take a deep breath and internalize the brilliance of green. The Chinese refer to the spring as part of the Wood Element, and the associated color is green. According to traditional Chinese medicine the seat of the wood element within the human body is the liver and gall bladder. While that connection is not intuitive to the western mind, I enjoy the connection because it gives me a way to incorporate that green within my body. You may also bring the green into what many know as your third eye, a place just above the bridge of your nose and between your eyes. The third eye is a place you bring not just the color green but the full multi dimensional energy of green including its smell, sound, touch. It is here that you can access it in the dark of night or other moments you choose to access it to be further enveloped in green. Last year, I shared the following about spring green.
Spring overwhelms me. I attribute this to trees coming out of dormancy with such vibrancy. It is difficult not to notice the curtain of green envelop you, particularly on wooded lots. The green is not just overwhelming in color, but also in volume. Once wide open views become views into the color green and your vista contracts from expanse to the tree nearest to you. In the southeast, we are often exposed to this shocking transition in our surroundings as the Southeast has many, many, deciduous trees. This in opposition to the wide open vistas I grew up with in the West, so it is not surprising that my initial reaction to the spring tree phenomena is one of being closed in upon. However, having lived in the southeast for 20 years, I have been able to temper this initial reaction with one of wonder. The wonder of green, of a tree's abilities to spring forth such massive amounts of energy, and simply the wonder of trees. The contraction also has the affect of turning your spirit back towards you, creating a feeling of introspection. Trees shade us, but also impose their wills into the space around us in the form of leaves and green. It is as if a waterfall of green spouts out of nowhere and immerses you into it as if you were swimming in a lake. I take this annual rite for what it is, and try to swim and splash within it without the panic of losing the vista around me.
From http://www.preservationtree.com/ in Dallas, TX
We know it can be tempting to take care of much needed tree pruning on your own. Often, we just hire the guy down the street that's "handy with a chainsaw". Who doesn't want to save some money? Problem is, poor "cheap" pruning can permanently ruin the look of your valuable trees and often leave them susceptible to storm damage, disease and ultimately decline and death. Here are five of our top common pruning and trimming mistakes we see on trees around the DFW area.
- Topping: This is usually one of the most obvious and ugly of tree pruning mistakes. It happens a lot with crapemyrtles (known as "crape murder") and other trees that were too large for the place they were planted. With crapemyrtles, it's also done because people think it will get them more blooms (it won't). Topping involves cutting away a large section of the top of a tree's crown, or all the leafing branches across the top half of the tree. What you're left with is a very ugly deformed specimen with severely weakend branch structure.
- Bad Timing: There are good times to prune and bad times to prune; it depends on the species and condition of the tree. In Texas, for example, oak trees should not be pruned from February through June, due to the spread of oak wilt disease. If a tree is already stressed, it should not be heavily pruned. You should always have your trees inspected by a certified arborist before you let anyone take a chainsaw to it, unless you're willing to lose the tree completely. Pruning west-facing branches isn't a good idea in the heat of the summer; when you remove large limbs that shade the tree from the hot western sun, you can cause sun scald on red oaks, maples and other susceptible species. Sun scald results in wounds and damage to the trunk bark that can severely damage your tree.
- Improper Cuts: A very common tree trimming mistake when removing branches is to cut them off too close, or flush, to the main trunk. By doing this, you remove the branch collar; an area of tissue with specialized cells that help heal the wound. You'll recognize it as a small swelling, or bump, right where the branch meets the trunk. The callous that the branch collar cells creates will prevent disease from entering the trunk. When you cut that branch off flush to the trunk, you're opening a wound that can allow in disease and pests, putting your tree on a path to an early demise. Bark tears can occur when the proper steps are not taken when removing large branches. If you make the wrong cut in the wrong order, you can end up with a large branch falling and tearing or splitting your main trunk.
- Over Pruning: No more than about 15% to 20% of a mature tree's foliage should ever be trimmed off at one time. In fact, 5%-10% is usually adequate. When you remove too much of the canopy, you'll leave the tree unable to produce enough food, transfer nutrients and structurally support itself. People often over trim and thin their trees in hopes of getting the grass beneath to grow properly (which rarely happens). If you have multiple trees in an area where you'd rather grow turn, often a better practice is to remove selected trees to let in more light, and perform structural pruning on the remaining trees so that you can have both healthy trees and turf.
- Raising the Canopy Too High: Otherwise known as Lion's tailing, or as we like to call them "Broccoli Trees". Again, unskilled labor often removes far too many large lower branches in an effort to raise the canopy and grow more turf grass. What you end up with is a very tall bare trunk with a small amount of foliage canopy left at the top. It looks like a lion's tail, or stalk of broccoli. You can read more about this pruning mistake and the problems it causes HERE.
Park Pride of Atlanta hosted a conference this week at the Atlanta Botanical Garden with keynote speakers Peter Harnik, Director of the Trust for Public Land's Center for City Park Excellence and Cynthia Nitkin, Senior Vice President at Project for Public Spaces.
These articles by the Saporta Report summarize the conference theme, Parks and People.
Parks can ignite growth in cities
by Maria Saporta
As more people move to the City of Atlanta, having quality parks is key
by Saba Long
Examples of the latest techniques in park building were discussed, including the Atlanta Beltline. (Another great example is Ellis Square in Savannah, a park on top of an underground parking garage.)
In her presentation, Cynthia said the key to having a great park is offering food, free wi-fi, seating and shade.
I cant wait to see this. I might even have to visit NYC for a first hand experience.
"In the first broad-scale estimate of air pollution removal by trees nationwide, U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidents of acute respiratory symptoms."
This is an interesting read from Rolling Stone on the impact of climate change to our forests. Its not a very rosy picture. 25% of the worlds land surface is covered by forests, which are great consumers of the carbon we produce. Increased mortality from heat stress, drought, insects, fire, urbanization can be expected as we move towards mid century. It becomes a clear imperative that we protect and enhance our urban forests.
- Design with nature not against nature.
- Forest front property has value.
- If it feels wrong to exchange money for healthy trees it probably is wrong. Your intuition is valuable.
- Change tree ordinances to make tree removal in new development and renovations the exception, not the rule.
- Trees are anchors to life, life that is irreplaceable in our lifetime.
- Trees are like streams, we don't allow just anyone to dam or redirect them.
- Replants are not the equivalent to existing healthy trees.
- Not all trees are equal, have a way to measure species, contribution, and condition of trees.
- We cannot expect people not to remove trees in the Amazon when we cannot protect them in our own backyard.
- Developers and builders are not the enemy, we are. If you leave a $100 bill on street and it gets taken, whose fault is it?
- Aim high and own it, similar to how a developer wants 22 houses on one acre, we want want builders to design around healthy existing trees.
I am tired of trees being removed for no reason. Trees are the anchors of mini ecosystems that are irreplaceable in our lifetime, yet we choose to obliterate them at the whim of the latest fad in home building. I do not hold just builders and developers accountable, but ourselves as well. How many of us would allow the destruction of trees for a price? Often we are given the false choice of trees or new home. I know this to be a false choice, trees can be built around, it is called a basement or even better elevate the home above the critical root zone. The foot print of a home is flexible, so why do we insist on building in a way that is destructive to the trees? We could be selling forest front homes, but instead too often we choose to wipe the land clear of any living soil and topography. Trees on residential lots need to be protected, we need to make it happen. I argue that the quality of living will be higher around the trees plus we will be preserving a diminishing resource, a micro native ecosystem in the Urban Area.
Most municipalities were rezoned 30 years ago to accommodate what was important back then, building higher density along through fares. Lets rezone using tree ordinances and restricting the removal of trees in new construction. If we cannot protect forests in our urban areas,is it fair to ask to have them protected in the Amazon. Often we feel hopeless in the onslaught of global warming, well here is your chance to have your voice heard in your local area. Ask to protect your local trees through stronger tree ordinances, where tree removal is the exception and not the rule.
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