lame E-HOW internet site answers the question, "What is killing my trees from the top down" this way: "There are many reasons why trees die from the top down. Problems, including air pollution and drought, can attack a tree, regardless of its species....Pollution from acid rain, ozone and herbicides kills trees in a number of ways. Ozone interferes with a tree's ability to perform photosynthesis. Acid rain contains pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, that combine with sunlight or water to form acids that leach valuable minerals out of the soil. Too much herbicide can kill plants. Trees affected by air pollution usually die from the top down. Symptoms include thinning foliage and dieback of branches. Eventually, the tree breaks off or blows over, but the dying process can take 10 years or more." Duh!
Depletion of forest cover portends climatic disaster
~ Md. Asadullah Khan
"Unsurprisingly, in Bangladesh trees are being felled for fuel in the households and brick fields and also to meet the growing need of croplands for feeding the burgeoning population. But other than this type of extinction, there is another deadly culprit at work that is slowly denuding the forests of the Sunderbans, Cox's Bazar, Sylhet and in northern parts of Bangladesh much beyond our knowledge."
"The disease called 'the dying forest syndrome' which in the Sunderbans is known as 'top dying disease' strikes selectively but with deadly effect. The onset of the disease starts with the dark green branches hanging limply. Between five weeks and three years later, the branches are tinged yellow and then brown. The weakened tree soon drops its needles and eventually stops growing new ones. It becomes leafless at the top and appears stunted. Finally drought, insects, and parasites finish off the weakened plant."
"In parts of Africa, Europe and most notably in the Sunderbans in Bangladesh, the dying forest syndrome causing death of trees has come up as a big environmental disaster. The epidemic of dying trees which has struck the forest resources of the world appears to be quite mysterious. But the most convincing evidence points to air pollution, specially sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen spewed in the air by the ton from electrical generating stations, industrial boilers, smelting plants and automobiles located thousands of miles away."
"One school of thought points out, by itself sulfur dioxide can sap the vitality of the tree; so can oxides of nitrogen. But the real problem seems to begin when two gases work in combination in the atmosphere. Hurled into the air by tall smokestacks, the substances mix with water vapour to form sulfuric acid and nitric acid known as acid rain and in the presence of sunlight turn into oxidants such as ozone. When these new chemical mixtures fall to earth as snow or rain or float into forests as wind or fog, they can be far more lethal than the ingredients that went into them."
"Acid rain, in the form of dry particles, snow and fog, attacks a tree on all fronts. Airborne pollution settles first on the highest treetops of the forest crown, which acts as a natural windbreak. Acid precipitation filters down to the soil, eats away at the root system and eventually leaches out key nutrients such as calcium and potassium and mobilises toxic metals like aluminum. Once on a leaf or needle, acid rain disrupts the operation of the stomata, the tiny openings that permit a tree to 'breathe.'"
"The process of photosynthesis is thrown off balance, and subtle changes take place in the internal chemistry of the tree that result in discolouration and premature aging. Finally acid rain washes away vital nutrients from the leaves and needles so that the tree slowly starves to death, its respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems being crippled. Much like an AIDS victim whose immune system has broken down, the ailing tree is defenceless against the ravages of nature."
"Experts now say that precipitation these days has become more acidic since the onset of the industrial revolution in the mid 19th century. Measured on a chemical scale of pH from 0 to 14 (most acidic to most alkaline), acid rain is defined as precipitation below 5.6. In most of the industrialised countries of Europe, rainfall now has a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. In some parts of Italy, it has been recorded as low as 2.6 or acidic than table vinegar, which has a pH of about 2.9."
"What makes tracking down the cause of toxic poisoning so frustratingly difficult is the caprice of the wind. Modern smokestacks rising more than 1200ft, may spare the surrounding countryside. But they can emit pollutants high into the air, where they travel along wind-formed "skyways" that can carry them hundreds of miles even beyond the country that produced them. That answers the dilemma of the non-industrialised countries like Bangladesh who are not sinners but have to pay a heavy price for other's faults."
This first one has a sense of humor!
The above is from England, but the scenes could have easily been filmed around Wit's End - whereas the astonishment in the caption mirrors my own, it says...Are these trees just wintering? This is just a few of the trees which are dying near my home in the East Midlands (although my photos don't reveal the true picture) but the authorities tell me everything is normal for this time of year. Could it be that Sudden Oak Death and Sycamore Black Spot are not confined to the South West and Wales? So many species of tree seem to be affected, Leylandi, Larch, Beech, Ash and Willow, as well as the faithful English Oak trees. The hedges are disappearing too - privet and box which I thought were evergreen are losing their leaves, and elderflower and even hawthorn are dead and covered in yellow algae/lichen. Is the natural fall of leaves in the winter masking something more sinister? Is anyone else worried about the trees in their area?
The next and another further down are by a fellow who, with the collusion of an attorney, set up a phony "trust" scam, and has managed to convince some townships around Boston that the reason they are losing so many trees is gas leaking underground.
Loggers love to show off their chainsaws, here are a couple:
The following is one of many uploaded by a prolific videographer in British Columbia, who is fond of coarse language, so if you like that sort of thing you can go to YouTube and check out his other forays.
The Monsanto theory (of course, I do think Monsanto is monstrous, I just think the company is probably run by people who are far too stupid and self-centered to plot global domination...I hope...you decide!)