Monthly Archives: December 2009

Richard Preston on the giant trees

This is a talk given by Richard Preston at the TED conference a year ago.  It is an amazing look at coast redwoods and the ecosystems that have evolved within their canopies.  The pictures and content are fantastic.  I would highly recommend Preston’s book about the giants trees called The Wild Trees.  It is a super interesting read and one that really got the ball rolling in my new found love and appreciation of trees.  I actually started reading it while at Gold Bluffs beach campground in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in Northern California and was able to stare at redwood trees while I read.  Tough life.  Any ways, I think the movie is a good starting point, but would for sure read The Wild Trees.  There is also a bit on the end regarding the loss of Eastern Hemlock trees, which was news to me.  I will have to look into this further.  If I find anything of interest I’ll be sure to post it.  Cheers.

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Tree Topping

I am not sure why tree topping continues as an acceptable practice after all of the evidence presented as it being severely detrimental to the growth and safety of trees.   A simple google search of the topic yields plenty of results arguing against the topping of trees.  Yet here I am, looking out my window at the hawthorn in my front yard that has been topped.  My best guess says the tree was topped about 5-10 years ago.  The tree seems to be doing OK, but I imagine it would be much more beautiful and happy if it weren’t topped.  You can see the crown has completely lost its shape and now only has upright shoots.   Hawthorn trees seem to be a popular tree to top here in Bend as I have seen many in the downtown area in similar shape.  I think it may be due to it’s unfriendly thorns.

The hawthorn is not the only tree at my house that has been topped.  The sugar maple on the side of my house has also been stripped of its dignity.  The maple tree is a good example of why it is such a risk to top trees.  At the beginning of October we had that unexpected snow storm dump a few inches of heavy snow on Bend.  Many of the deciduous trees in my neighborhood had severe damage.  The tree with the most damaged was the sugar maple at my house.  The branches that were lost fell directly onto the power lines leading into my house. My landlord ended up removing some of the branches while we lost power for a couple hours that morning.  This could have been an extremely dangerous situation if the power had come back on while he worked on the branches.

The whole situation could have been avoided had the tree not been topped.  Topping forces the tree to produce epicormic shoots which are weakly attached to the trunk and more likely to fail in bad weather .  There is also a huge risk of decay and disease forming in the cut branches, which leads to further risk of limb loss.  The life of the tree has been completely compromised.  The tree has probably returned to its original pre-topped height and will have to eventually be removed before it becomes a bigger hazard than it already is.  It is a sad story as the tree provides a lot of summer shade on the West side of our house.

There has been a lot of talk in the arboriculture community about making the practice of topping illegal.  Do you all think this is a good idea?  I 100% think this should be a law in every state.  It’s just the same has having safety standards for buildings in my opinion.  Topped trees pose a risk to people and property and it is not fair to put compromise the safety of the community.

For more information on topping, check out the following links.  The first link is to the TLC for Trees website of a video where they do a dissection of a topped limb that has been severely decayed.  You can really see how loosely attached the branches really are.

TLC for Trees – Topping Hurts!

Trees are Good – Why Topping Hurts

Forest Facts – Tree topping (Oregon Department of Forestry printable PDF)

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Richard Gere in hot water

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=richard+gere&iid=6890401″ src=”6/5/b/8/Amelia_Sneak_Peek_23f2.jpg?adImageId=7970237&imageId=6890401″ width=”234″ height=”329″ /]  Apparently after cutting down some trees sans proper permission at his Westchester County, New York, Richard Gere could be looking at a $50,000 fine.  He supposedly cut down 200 trees without permit.

Read more here: Gere’s Tree Troubles

This is a good case of why it is important to make sure any tree work being completed has been approved by the city or neighborhood association.  The urban forest is everyone’s and must be treated as so.  The line of ownership of trees can sometimes become fuzzy when situations like this arise.  The urban forest is everyone’s and must be treated as so. Those trees were an integral part of the urban fabric and now the whole community is down 200 trees to benefit from having around.  A bummer for Westchester County.  It sounds as is Mr. Gere may be willing to replace some of the trees, but he’s missing the point of how valuable a mature tree is in a city.  I wonder if the tree service that removed the trees realized they were doing work without the proper permit.

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keeping myself entertained

I didn’t know what else to do tonight, so I’m making potato broccoli cheese soup.  I’ve never made it, so I’m not quite sure how it’ll come out.  Probably pretty good as it is hard to mess up something with broccoli, potato and cheese.  If anything goes wrong, just put more cheese on it.  It’s only going to help.

Now that Tera is back at work after 4 days off, the boredom of unemployment is setting in heavily.  If I could, I’d take off tomorrow and head down to check out some Sequoia trees, but it is probably in my best interest to stay in town and finish my final project for class.  I want to get a good score on it and secure my A in the class.  The weather this week in Bend is supposed to be beautiful, which means no work for me.  Maybe next week when my class is over the weather will stay nice and I can leave.  Wishful thinking really……

Well, I must get back to making this concoction.  I think my onions are beginning to burn a bit.  Have a good night everyone.

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