Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let's Call it a Trifucta

While the focus of this blog is the collapse that means the most to me - environmental destruction - I do recognize there are two others that are corollated and, broadly speaking, simultaneous - the financial collapse which is accompanied by an impending energy crash. Click that link! It is a long and terrifying read, very provocative.
I stopped to investigate this tree, which caught my eye because it is white with lichens all the way from the ground to the tiniest shoots in the crown.
The ground is a clutter of branches that are dwarfed by the lichen growing on them.
I'm not sure who owns this land, it could be Merck Pharmaceuticals which has its world headquarters beyond the woods - but this part of it appears to have been an orchard long ago.
These decrepit apple trees are twisted and deformed.
This is typical of their branches.
All of them are in the same condition.
This one is so deformed it looks to be weeping.
The branches have lichens all the way to the very tips.
This is the woods behind the clearing.
All of the trees are losing bark.
And of course there is lots of lichen, everywhere.
The pine trees have few or no needles left.
This tree fell over.
And no wonder! Look at the branches.
I found a new sort of fungus which was a pleasant diversion from the usual predominant one.
Which in this area is everywhere.
Now, just so Peapack-Gladstone Bank doesn't think I was picking on their Pottersville Branch in this post, I took some photos around the Wacovia Bank which is housed in a charming converted colonial home, in Whitehouse.
Believe it or not, most of these are supposed to be evergreen conifers.
There are a few that have some needles.
But many more that have nothing.
And the branches are stripped.
This is just one row along the parking lot, perhaps 150 feet of dead and dying pines.
It's really quite dreadful to witness.
This tree is in a yard on the way north to Oldwick.
The same lucky homeowners have this for shade in the summer.
On the east side of the road is land that is owned by Tewksbury Township.
There is a cleared area, with some very large old trees.
That big tree has bark that is icy blue. I think perhaps this was once the site of a home, long since demolished. There is an old pump.
This abandoned grill that probably saw some fun parties years ago.
I suspect it was a homesite because otherwise these giant trees would have been logged over a century ago.
It's terribly sad to see magnificent specimens that are deteriorating.
This bark fell recently to the ground.
Looking up, the branches are damaged.
And looking down, there are many broken parts of trees.
All I had for scale was my glove. It's a chestnut brown, right in the center in front of this trunk. It's really a huge tree.
But it is losing bark too.
A branch broke off this old tree and lies in front of it in mute testimony.
The Rockaway River runs through this property.
And a close look of trees along the bank shows that younger trees are failing just as are the older ones.
There are some intriguing formations.
And some beautiful moss.

1 comment:

  1. I think the lichens are cool, and I've never found any situation where they provided any danger to a tree -- usually just one more living layer of protection over the dead cells of the trunk -- but, yeah, there are a lot of unhealthy trees there.

    Call the town/city government, see if they have an arborist on staff. Talk to that person about the trees. If the smallest unit of local government doesn't have one, call the county, and call the state.

    Your county almost certainly has a USDA county extension agent. Regardless what you find in the local and state governments, call that person and talk to them about what you see, and what should be done.

    One easy, but not quick or comprehensive solution is to plant trees. Recruit a local Scout Troop, recruit a local elementary school, get permission from the city or county and plant on their land. Often I've found landowners quite happy to have trees planted on their land, and sometimes they've contributed money. New York used to have a program to provide trees for pennies apiece -- seedlings -- and some of those forests are now entering their second century. USDA Forest Service often has a bead on local programs of cheap seedlings. Also, be sure to check with the Arbor Day Foundation and any local affiliate. Arbor Day is a great way to get elementary school kids involved.


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