Tuesday May 21, 2013
Even as late as five hundred million years ago, the earth had not yet developed the conditions necessary to support spontaneous spreading fire. Naturally occurring atmospheric fire did not have chemical elements available in the proper mixtures of fuel and oxygen. It took major earth changes to form and make available the chemistry necessary to support what fire scientists call the fire triangle.
According to the geologic coal carbon record, earth's first wildfires occurred during the life-exploding Devonian period. Life on earth created and provided the supporting elements of atmospheric fire. Life adapted to wildfire's presence and much later the first humans learned to use and control fire.
Human fire activity is the primary cause of wildfires in North America and outnumber natural starts (lightning) by nearly ten times. Most of these human fires result from accidental causes but, unfortunately, some are purposely set and cause serious damage to life and property annually.
More via History and Causes of Forest Fire
Friday May 17, 2013
From birth we are taught to love trees (remember Joyce Kilmer). It is almost a sacrilege to "hate" a tree. But there are trees we don't like in certain settings; trees that excessively litter or that destroy sidewalks or that invade and overwhelm the entire forest. Many of these trees can still be beautiful and interesting and worth the effort to keep. It would take a really bad tree for you to consider for extermination and that you would not miss one bit if it were to become extinct tomorrow.
That's the tree I want you to select here. You may actually think no tree is bad...
I have listed 10 trees people are frequently telling me they need to get rid of! These trees are the most often mentioned and selected out of discussions with both the forestry savvy and the general population. It actually surprised me that the topic would stir such strong opinion. People love to loathe "bad" trees and are very opinionated about trees they don't like.
Please take the time to vote in this poll and select the most hated tree in North America...
Friday May 17, 2013
Fields, pastures, forests, wetlands and waterways, natural areas, and right-of-ways are being invaded by trees of dubious distinction. Most are non-native trees and also referred to as exotic, alien, noxious, or non-indigenous invasive plants that are impacting native plant and animal communities by displacing native vegetation and disrupting plant and wildlife habitats.
Totally not cool!
Drawing on recent publications by the USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA APHIS PPQ and the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council, a great web site covers identification characteristics, distribution, and control options for 14 trees that are invading the eastern United States. Invasive Plants of the Eastern United States: Identification and Control actually lists nearly 100 plants that are intent on changing our native plant communities. Here are 14 trees that Invasive.org feels are rapidly spreading out of control:
Wednesday May 15, 2013
Tree sucker sprouts and watersprouts are vigorous, upright, epicormic shoots that grow from dormant buds on older wood. They are mostly a problem on fruit and landscape trees, can grow very large in one season and occur most often under stressful conditions like drought, after severe pruning and limb loss.
Both kinds of sprouts should be removed immediately while remembering that a watersprout can be used to develop a new main trunk if there is severe damage to the old trunk. Watersprouts are easily pulled off. Suckers are much harder to deal with as they are attached at or below ground level and should be removed with as much of the root or basal material as possible.