Tuesday, March 30, 2010



  1. catman here:

    I emailed an old friend who has been a professional forester for more than 25 years. I invited him to look at your tree damaged tree photos which he did. Here's his reply:

    "... regarding dying trees and Global Warming. I'm not sure that the
    tree mortality that you
    Are seeing is related to Global Warming or not. Most of the pictures
    that I saw on the wit's end site appeared to
    Be abused urban trees. Living with humans is tough on trees.
    In the forests we have had unprecedented droughts followed last year
    with excess water that really helped the
    Fungal communities attack already weakened trees. Regeneration(new young
    trees) will be different also as the trees in
    Canopy thin out they will suppress the younger cohort or convert the
    next forest to a shade tolerant groups of trees such as maples and
    Another thing to pay attention to are the invasive exotics such as
    privet, bush honeysuckle, tree of heaven, mimosa, etc.
    These are opportunists that often out compete some of our natives.
    We could talk forever about this it is fascinating and complicated;
    The following websites contain information that you might find
    These are mostly citations for books but I bet you could find these in
    the library. Both of these authors have changed my life
    And I study trees all the time.
    God bless you and your wife.
    I always smile when I think of you."

    Here's an indisputable truth:
    "Living with humans is tough on trees."
    I haven't gone to his links as of yet (later, when I have more time), but why don't you check them out.

  2. I will check out those links, thank you Catman!

    As to your forester friend, his response is typical of almost every forester I have heard from. It's evident first of all that he only glanced at the pictures in my latest post from Cambridge, without really reading it or he would have realized that 99% of the trees I refer to are in a rural setting, not urban.

    This is the identical form of denial (ignoring the evidence) that I got from the forester at the Doris Duke estate who admitted trees are dying there but claimed it was due to old age, a ludicrous assertion ignoring the facts that trees can live for centuries if they are not adversely impacted by human activity and furthermore, the young newly planted trees both coniferous and deciduous display exactly the same symptoms of decline to the same degree of severity as old trees.

    His response is also echoed in the observations of a forester I met with who claimed a dying stand of pines was almost bare of needles because it was shaded by larger trees, ignoring the fact that not 100' away were many pines situated in the open in full sun with the same yellowing and loss of needles.

    You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

    Or, put another way by Upton Sinclair, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

    If the foresters told us that the forests are irretrievably irreversibly in decline (unless we stop poisoning them which isn't likely) they would be told to learn how to wield a chainsaw and put out fires instead of "manage" and study trees.

    What they should really be doing is collecting seeds and growing saplings in filtered air on the off chance we don't turn earth into Venus and can someday clean up the environment enough to safely reintroduce them outdoors.


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