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The Scientist Who Discovered Sudden Oak Death Believes We Can Save the Forests

The Scientist Who Discovered Sudden Oak Death Believes We Can Save the Forests | Horticulture | Scoop.it
In the mid 1990s, thousands of trees in California’s coastal forests began to die. Leaves turned brown very suddenly, and sap leaked from trunks, creating a forest of bleeding trees. Some were covered in insects, but no wounds or damage could be found. Later known as Sudden Oak Death (SOD), the damage caused by a microscopic pathogen began killing off over one million of California’s oak and tanoak trees rapidly, threatening whole ecosystems.

At the moment SOD seems wildly out of control, even unstoppable. But for the last 16 years, California has had an Oak Mortality Task Force, a consortium of researchers, public agencies and private interests, who learn more about the pathogen and prevent its further spread. It was difficult for the group’s first members to know where to start, though, when the state’s trees began inexplicably dying en masse. “It's kind of a sad story,” says communications director Katie Harrell. "No one knew what was going on."

The biggest problem was that no one suspected that a small pathogen was killing the trees; when the pathogen was first discovered in 1995, most believed that the deaths were caused by insects. Matteo Garbelotto, professor and forest pathology expert at UC Berkeley’s forest and mycology lab, was one of the first two people to discover the disease. “In the beginning it was hard, because I had just been hired by Berkeley, and the second month after I was hired I make this huge discovery,” says Garbelotto, who still studies the pathogen and ways to subdue it.
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Biological control of tree and woody plant diseases: an impossible task?

Biological control of tree and woody plant diseases: an impossible task? | Horticulture | Scoop.it
The social demand for novel, sustainable and environment friendly approaches, while ensuring the health and productivity of our crops, is increasingly growing. Research on biological control of tree/woody crop diseases is scarce compared to that conducted on herbaceous, annual plants. In addition to their large biomass, complicated anatomy, longevity and perennial nature, peculiarities in the management of tree crops and forestry also contribute to the complexity of the processes of developing effective biological control measures in these agro-ecosystems. Although biological control in woody species poses challenges, difficulties and limitations, its implementation either alone or in combination with other disease management strategies is feasible. As a result, examples of successful application of biocontrol measures based on the use of bacteria, fungi or hypovirulent mycoviruses against tree/woody plant diseases are available. The aim of this special issue is to provide interested readers with an overview and updates on the active research field of biological control of tree and woody plant diseases. Such effort includes updates ranging from the generation of fundamental knowledge to examples of successful application of biological control strategies.

Via Jean-Michel Ané
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Private landowners receive revenue for growing trees

Private landowners receive revenue for growing trees | Horticulture | Scoop.it
Money does grow on trees. This week GreenTrees, LLC sent over 400 Delta landowners checks from the sale of some of their carbon. GreenTrees landowners have enrolled nearly 100,000 acres since 2004 into the planting of permanent new forests on their land. Project sizes range from 10 acres to 1500 acres and average 200-300 acres.
As a non-governmental reforestation effort, the program is rebuilding some of the most critical land surrounding the Mississippi and its tributaries. Today GreenTrees is the largest reforestation program in North America and largest forest carbon credit generator in the country.
Jacob Sartain, a current enrollee had this to say, “GreenTrees intersperse planting system is by far the best available practice when converting farmland to plantation tree planting. Our growth rate for both hardwoods and cottonwoods has been amazing, generating a much faster wildlife return by creating a viable forest system in less than five years.”
Seen as one of the most innovative developments to restore the nation’s ecological health, GreenTrees is at the cutting edge of the new environmental revolution – making conservation a business.
By planting new forests on previously cleared farmland primarily in the River’s floodplain, landowners are turning once unreliable farmland into a long-term source of income for themselves, and in many cases providing for its succession to the next generation. Sartain added, “My belief is using the GreenTrees system increases the landowner’s property value faster than conventional hardwood plantation, due to the combined effects of income, ascetics, and increase wildlife usage within the first few years from planting.”

Via Sam Radcliffe
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AgriLife Extension experts: Time for pecan growers to scout, treat for casebearer | AgriLife Today

AgriLife Extension experts: Time for pecan growers to scout, treat for casebearer | AgriLife Today | Horticulture | Scoop.it
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Warming temps not the only factor in beetle outbreaks

Warming temps not the only factor in beetle outbreaks | Horticulture | Scoop.it
Study shows regional variations in forest health equation
Annual aerial survey enable resource managers to map the spread of tree-killing bugs.
Staff Report
FRISCO — Warming winters across the western U.S.

Via Garry Rogers
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Garry Rogers's curator insight, April 6, 2015 5:17 PM

What could it be?  It's time for a little field work.

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ArcWatch | Protecting Urban Forests the Modern Way

ArcWatch | Protecting Urban Forests the Modern Way | Horticulture | Scoop.it
The Urban Forestry Administration in Washington, DC, uses Esri technology to monitor tree maintenance, monitor the health of trees, and accurately assess fines for removing trees without a permit.

Via Fernando Gil
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MORE FOREST PESTS THAN EVER ARE ENTERING THE U.S., AND IT’S COSTING THE PUBLIC A FORTUNE

MORE FOREST PESTS THAN EVER ARE ENTERING THE U.S., AND IT’S COSTING THE PUBLIC A FORTUNE | Horticulture | Scoop.it

In the 20th century, chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease decimated billions of U.S. trees, in forests and along urban and suburban streets. The tree diseases, caused by invasive pests, effectively changed the face of one American city landscape after another—chestnut trees were virtually wiped out and elms diminished to but a few locations—and cost local governments and homeowners a fortune.

 

A paper published May 10 in the journal Ecological Applications illustrates how American homeowners today bear the brunt of the burden posed by current invasive forest pests. The emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid and others are costing Americans well over $2 billion dollars a year. Gary Lovett, a forest ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, based in Millbrook, New York, was inspired to pursue the study after realizing that in his field work he was coming across more and more hemlock and other Eastern U.S. trees that were dead or destroyed by forest pests.
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Lovett calls forest pests, present in all 50 states, the most pressing and underappreciated forest health issue today. Working with 15 other scientists to synthesize information found in previous scientific studies of invasive pests, Lovett found that, on average, 25 new pests become established in the country every decade. The scientists say efforts that exist to prevent new forest pests from entering the country are far too weak to keep up with escalating trade and an increased reliance on shipping containers—25 million enter the U.S. each year.

 

More than 90 percent of wood boring insects that have recently invaded the U.S. entered on wood packaging materials, mostly within shipping containers. And while the federal government does require that wood packaging material be treated to prevent pest importation and that plants are inspected upon entry to the U.S., there are simply too many shipments coming in each day to inspect everything.
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Lovett says we've been lucky not to have yet encountered an imported pest destructive to the Southeast’s loblolly pine or the Northwest’s Douglas fir, two of the country’s most commercially important trees. He estimates the economic damages would then be far greater than they already are.

 

However, the stakes are already higher than most people realize. Forest pests are the only threat that can decimate an entire tree species within just decades, as they did the American elm and chestnut.


Via Sam Radcliffe
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RELEASE: New “Farmers’ Guide” Helps Organic Producers Apply for Buffer Initiative | National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

Washington, DC, May 13, 2016 – Today, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) announced the publication of their Organic Farmers’ Guide to the Conservation Reserve Program Field Border Buffer Initiative. The guide is intended to assist organic farmers interested in accessing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new Organic Buffer Initiative, and is one of many free resources produced by NSAC for farmers and farm groups.

Via ThePlanetaryArchives/San Francisco CA
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New “Generations Of Flowers” Study Tracks How And Why Consumers Are Buying Flowers And Plants | Greenhouse Grower

New “Generations Of Flowers” Study Tracks How And Why Consumers Are Buying Flowers And Plants | Greenhouse Grower | Horticulture | Scoop.it
The Society of American Florists and the American Floral Endowment have released an update and analysis of this study, which first began in 2009.
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