Posts Tagged ‘Trees’

Monday, June 17, 2019

NYS Tree Nursery Honors Forest Preserve Advocate

Tree Planting on Streets and Roads by William FoxThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced they have renamed the State Tree Nursery in Saratoga Springs the “Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery.”

Born William Freeman Fox on January 11, 1840, in Ballston Spa, just miles from the tree nursery on Route 50, he studied engineering at Union College for three years. In 1862, at 22, Fox joined the Army of the Potomac as a Captain commanding Company C of the 107th New York Volunteer Infantry. Shortly afterward, he saw his first combat in at the Battle of Antietam, considered among the bloodiest days in U.S. history. Fox was wounded in this battle, as well as at the Battle of Chancellorsville, where he served as a Major, and the Battle of Resaca, where he served as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was discharged from the U.S. Army on July 8, 1864.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

How Flood Waters Impact Trees

floodplain of the Lynches River in South CarolinaAs a teenager, my son had a saying, whether original or borrowed I don’t know (the saying, that is), which went something like “All things in moderation. Especially moderation.” It would seem Mother Nature took that to heart, and dispensed with moderate rainfall and snow melt this spring. If not her, then maybe it was Creepy Uncle Climate Change. At any rate, the resultant flooding has been heartbreaking to observe.

While I am of course sensitive to the anguish of those people affected by the record-high waters, as an arborist I cannot help but think about the suffering trees as well. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 12, 2019

What Shall We Call This?

tree along the trail to the top of Goodnow Mountain has been called the Octopus TreeAnyone who’s spent time in the woods has seen them, a tree growing on top of a large stone or boulder, with its roots winding down around the stone to find nourishment, finally, in the surrounding earth.

The tree could be a yellow birch or a spruce and we see them in many stages of their lives from seedlings growing out of a bed of moss and ferns to very mature trees.

They are one of the great curiosities of the woods, often causing one to stop and examine, marveling at the tenacity and beauty of life. Surely this peculiar plant and stone association must have a name? » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Paul Hetzler: Let Them Eat Trees

Nearly all historians agree Marie Antoinette probably never coined the phrase “let them eat cake,” a saying already in popular culture before her time. The saying was ascribed to her by opponents to bolster her reputation as a callous and arrogant aristocrat. She would have seemed far more benevolent if she had said “let them eat trees.”

From remote villages to five-star urban restaurants, people around the world consume all manner of delectable dishes featuring second-hand wood. Although that is not generally how it is featured on the menu. Mushrooms such as inky cap, oyster and shiitake have a voracious appetite for wood, a substance that very few organisms eat because it is so hard to digest. Anyone who has tried to dine on lumber can attest to that. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Free Seedlings; Warren Co Tree and Shrub Sale Last Call

SWCD District Manager is interviewed by News Channel 13Typically the Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District’s annual seedling sale has a few trees and shrubs leftover. In order to preserve these specimens the District had started a small arboretum and garden on the grounds to grow the specimens for use on one of the many erosion control projects we work on each year or they are donated for community plantings.

In 2018, after staff hand tilled a 400 sq. ft. field plot and planted these homeless bare root specimens, employees came into work on the following Monday with the intent of watering the plants. Instead they found nearly fifteen one-foot-diameter soil craters with broken and torn sapling roots, revealing they had been stripped from the ground. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 25, 2019

DEC Providing Free Trees for Water Quality Plantings

treed buffer along a riverNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced a new Trees for Tribs Program initiative, “Buffer in a Bag,” designed to help increase riparian buffers throughout New York State.

Qualifying public and private landowners may apply for a free bag of 25 tree and shrub seedlings for planting along streams, rivers, or lakes to help stabilize banks, decrease erosion, protect water quality, and improve wildlife habitat. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 22, 2018

Minimizing Salt Injury to Trees and Shrubs

Every winter brings its annual a-salt on roads and walkways. In icy conditions, salt may be necessary for safety, but too much of it is worse than a bad pun. Cars, equipment, and concrete suffer in obvious ways, but damage to trees and other woody plants is less visible. Salt injures trees and shrubs by several means.

When road-salt spray hits twigs, buds and, in the case of evergreens, foliage, such direct contact causes yellowing of needles, and subsequent death of evergreen twigs and limbs. It also leads to stunted or deformed growth, such as witches’ brooms, on hardwoods. Severe or repeated direct exposure, especially for sensitive species like white pine or cedar, can kill the whole tree. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Paul Hetzler: Dreaming Of A Local Christmas

Even Santa Claus himself cannot grant a wish for a white Christmas — it is a coin toss whether the holiday will be snow-covered or green this year. A verdant landscape is not our Christmas ideal, but we can keep more greenbacks in the hands of local people, and keep our Christmas trees and other accents fresh and green for longer, when we buy local trees and wreaths.

Not only are Christmas trees a renewable resource, they boost the regional economy. Even if you don’t have the time to cut your own at a tree farm, do yourself a favor this year and purchase a natural tree from a local vendor. She or he can help you choose the best kind for your preference, and also let you know how fresh they are. Some trees at large retail outlets are cut weeks, if not months, before they show up at stores. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New Maple, Birch Tapping Research Released

march maple tappingThe Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted a research update with data to help maple and birch syrup producers respond to variable climate conditions.

The project has established baseline data for what are hoped to be continuing efforts to determine the optimal time to begin tapping birch trees in conjunction with maple production. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 17, 2018

American Mountain Ash

mountain ash There’s a giant living in Coös County, New Hampshire. It’s a 61-foot tall tree, the country’s largest known American mountain ash. At last measurement, it stood at a height of 61 feet and had a circumference of 70 inches. That’s outstanding for a tree that’s described by most sources, including my old dendrology textbook, as “a small tree or shrub.”

This tree is a champion — but the species as a whole has a lot going for it. I love the mountain ash for the beauty of its white flower clusters and red berries. More importantly, though, it fills an important spot on the menu for birds and mammals, especially in winter. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Paul Hetzler: Plant A Tree, or Rent It?

Planting a tree isn’t rocket science, which is good thing. If it were that complex, I’d wager we’d have a lot fewer trees lining our streets. It may not take a scientist to plant a tree correctly, but a lot of money is spent each year to buy and plant trees which may as well be leased, because they will only live a fraction of their expected lifespan.

When trees decline and die after 15, 20, or even 30 years, the last thing we probably suspect is shoddy planting. Although landscape trees like mountain-ash and birch have naturally short lives, a sugar maple or red oak should easily last a hundred or more years. Yet all too often, a long-lived species will expire at twenty because it was planted “fast and dirty.” You can find examples of trees declining as an age-class in housing developments, and especially along NYS routes where DOT low-bid contractors replaced trees cut down for road improvements. One may as well consider such trees rentals, not purchases. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Poetry: Find Your Tree

Find Your Tree

Find your tree.
Accept its broken embraces,
like the air of late spring,
a sonata and carnival of animals.

Find your tree.
Once through again,
a songbook for the latter days,
like old Deuteronomy or
the ad-dreaming cat.

Find your tree
and everything Zen
made of sky. For the world
has gone wrong; the gamma rays
are all off. The heart breaks and
the brain is losing power.

Find your tree.
Old and in the way,
waifing near the morning after,
such a strange condition is a tree.

Another life on a chain.
Another in between dream.
Another helpless dirt farmer.

Find your tree
and Nirvana, too.
Everyday when the world ends-
mother, father, angel, and the space
between. Find your tree.

Unplugged,
running on faith,
the ghost inside.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Early Fall Leaf Color: The Science

Seems like competitiveness may be part of human DNA. But it does not always pay to be first.

No prize awaits the fastest car that passes a radar patrol, or the first person to come down with the flu at the office. And for trees, the first ones to turn color in autumn are not envied by their peers. If trees experience envy, which no one knows. The first trees to show orange and red and drop their leaves are telling us to get quotes from a tree-removal company, because they are not going to last.

The reason that some trees turn color ahead of their compatriots has to do with their balance sheets. Trees are meticulous accountants, and tend to be good savers that never live beyond their means. When it’s no longer profitable to operate, they start closing down for the season. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Emerald Ash Borer Trap Trees

emerald ash borer photo courtesy DECWhen I hear the phrase “trap tree,” an image of Charlie Brown’s kite-eating tree in the Peanuts comic strip comes immediately to mind. But trap trees, or sentinel trees, are meant to nab a much smaller flying object, the emerald ash borer (EAB).

The idea is to make certain ash trees more attractive to EAB, to serve both as a monitoring tool and as a means of slowing the rate of ash death. Early in the growing season, a chosen ash tree is girdled, which stresses it and induces it to create certain phenols and alcohols not present in healthy trees. It is on this chemical signature that the adult emerald ash borers home in. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Fagus Grandifolia: Beech Gone Wild

american beech treeThe sturdy, long-lived and stately American beech, Fagus grandifolia, has been slowly dying out since 1920, when a tiny European insect pest was accidentally released on our shores. Because of this lethal but unhurried tragedy, many forest tracts across the Northeast are being choked out by too many beech trees.

That’s right, beech decline has led to a proliferation of beech so extreme that in some places it is a threat to the health of future forests. With apologies to all the bovine readers out there, this qualifies as an oxymoron, I’m pretty sure. The ultimate cause of this weird situation is the aforementioned pest, but the proximate cause is a bad case of hormones being out of whack. » Continue Reading.