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Archive for the ‘tree’ Category

A deadly Danish fungus

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As if ash trees didn’t have enough to worry about, now they’re under attack from a deadly fungus that has killed 90 percent of the trees in Denmark.

From the Guardian:

The tree disease Chalara fraxinea has already decimated around 90% of Denmark’s ash population and was found in the UK at a Buckinghamshire nursery in February, raising fears of a repeat of the epidemic of Dutch elm disease in the 1970s, which wiped out virtually the entire mature population of elm trees – 25m – by the 1990s.

Infected trees have since been found at a handful of locations in the UK from outside Glasgow to Cambridgeshire – though not in wild areas outside recent plantings and nurseries – and are being destroyed as they are found. Ash accounts for around a third of our wooded landscape which includes parks and hedgerows, as well as woods and forests.

A ban on imports could come into effect as early as November, just before the planting season, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said on Thursday, launching a consultation that ends on 26 October.

The environment secretary, Owen Paterson, said: “This disease could have a devastating impact on our native ash trees so we need to take action to stop it. We are working towards a ban on imports, and looking to impose movement restrictions on trees from infected areas.”


October 8th, 2012 at 2:16 pm

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Weekly round-up

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We’ve been a bit lax the past couple of weeks, so here’s an extra-long weekly round-up for your weekend reading pleasure. Stay cool out there!


July 6th, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Urban dirt

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When I was at CENTS last month, I attended a talk by James Urban on the science of urban soils. The soil underneath urban areas is getting a lot more attention these days, at least as much – if not more – than the concrete and steel above grade.

As Amy Biegelsen writes in the Atlantic:

Lately, though, the jungle has made a comeback as cities have begun investing in more ways to improve street trees and their soil. That’s partly thanks to growing enthusiasm for green infrastructure and landscape projects as economic development engines. It’s also due to federal regulations that require cities to draft and implement formal plans to keep storm water run-off from spreading pollutants and overburdening sewer systems. If rainwater can get back into the ground through by filtering through street tree soil, there’s less of it for the city to manage.

As any landscaper worth his salt knows, the surest way to guarantee the success of a plant is to guarantee the quality of hte soil it grows in.

For a good read on this, pick up Urban’s “Up by Roots,” where he outlines the basic techniques necessary to find, test and improve the soil in urban areas.

And check out the rest of the Atlantic article for an update on new systems that folks like Davey, Bartlett and other city-focused companies are using to ensure the urban canopy survives for the next generations of city dwellers.


February 14th, 2012 at 3:15 pm

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