Monday March 10, 2014
Redbud is a small tree that shines early in spring (one of the first flowering trees) with leafless branches of magenta buds and pink flowers. Quickly following the flowers come new green leaves which turn a dark, blue-green and are uniquely heart-shaped. Cercis canadensis often has a large crop of 2-4 inch seed pods that some find unappealing in the urban landscape.
Redbud and Carpenter Bee - Photo © 2007 Steve Nix, licensed to About.com
Thursday March 6, 2014
Forest scientists agree that climate change may indeed threaten the health of forests on a global scale. A published study in the Journal of Forestry (JOF) in 2007 suggested that real shifting temperatures and precipitation patterns do threaten forests in some regions. Another recent study agrees that changes in the form of global warming could increase the resulting frequency of wildfire, drought and insect epidemics and reduces a tree's vigor.
I wanted to know, as a practicing forestry professional, just how practitioners and timber owners have approached the issues of climate change and global warming. I have reviewed the conflicting information and data and spent a bit of time separating out what I felt clarified the subject for me and hopefully to another forest manager or forest owner. Here is what I found:
Flicker image: by TherapySession
Tuesday March 4, 2014
North American forests were in deep trouble just before the turn of the twentieth century. Wildfires burned millions of acres of forests annually even as the volume of timber that was cut exceeded forest growth. There were no active reforestation programs even-though trees were being cut and large volumes of wood were left in the woods. A massive clearing of timberland continued to gain land for agriculture but at the forest user's expense.
The beginning of the 20th Century gave rise to a new environmental awareness of woodlands in the United States. This concern was fueled by forest land and timber depletion. A campaign to protect and manage the remaining forests of North America ensued and trained foresters were hired by private and government forest owners to manage their vast tracts of timber. The profession of forestry in North America was thus born and still working to provide sustainable forests for the future.
Image of Gifford Pinchot, First Forest Service Chief
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned during the dormant season for many of the same reasons you prune less showy trees. Read my How To How to Prune a Young Tree. Still, to preserve a tree's current year's flower crop, prune early spring blooming trees just after they flower. Do not prune a flowering tree this Spring, especially if it has not bloomed for the season!
Cherry in Central Park, NYC - Photo © 2007 Steve Nix, licensed to About.com