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    Category: Tree and Shrub Treatment

    Voodoo Vegetation Modeling Dooms Native Forests and Wildlife Habitat – CounterPunch - December 22, 2019 by admin

    Misinformation abounds; we read in scientific literature that native juniper trees are invasive pinyons are often regarded as such, and both are treated as if they were undocumented immigrants.

    David Charlet, Shah-Kan-Daw,Anthropogenic simplification of vegetation structure.

    Utahs Dixie National Forest just released a scoping letter for the Pine Valley Wildlife Habitat Improvement Project. Its the latest in a never-ending barrage of federal agency Pinyon-Juniper, Sagebrush and other woody vegetation killing projects that are turning public lands into hot, dry, ugly, weedy wastelands. This one targets 320,000 acres of the Pine Valley Ranger District north of St. George, including 250,000 acres of Inventoried Roadless Areas. The landscape includes an immense laccolith (a lens shaped mass of igneous rock). It lies at the intersection of three Ecoregions Great Basin, Mojave and Colorado Plateau and is high in biodiversity. California Condor, Peregrine Falcon, Northern Goshawk, Townsend Big-eared Bat, Spotted Bat, Elk, Mule Deer, Wild Turkey, Flicker, Grey Vireo, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Virginias Warbler and Brewers Sparrow are listed as species of concern. Theres resounding silence about Pinyon Jay, a species whose population is plummeting as its pine nut producing forest habitat is being obliterated by federal agency vegetation treatment projects.

    The Forest Service relies on a modeling report by The Nature Conservancy prepared under a Challenge Cost-Share Agreement. The report proclaims that TNC can foretell the future with Landscape Conservation Forecasting TM modeling.

    Future conditions of the Districts major ecological systems, under alternative management scenarios, can be predicted with computer state-and-transition models.

    TNCs crystal ball is trademarked, perhaps to create the illusion that this is cutting-edge stuff, or to dissuade activists prying into the process. Assumptions abound, with value judgements on the worth of plant communities heartily thrown into the mix. Crested wheatgrass seedings (exotic cattle forage grass) are considered benign. Encroaching native Pinyon, Juniper and Ponderosa Pine trees are high risk or bad actors.

    Predictably, TNC finds that the Forests woody plant communities, even Serviceberry (a whopping 70,000 acres) and Cliffrose (11,000 acres) categories, are drastically uncharacteristic. Serviceberry is 100% departed from the condition TNC claims it should be in. Who knew there was a major Serviceberry and Cliffrose health crisis on our National Forests? Theres not. Its all about how the modelers contrived to define and categorize what the plant community living in a particular land area should be.

    Categorizing the plant community as what an agency desires to be the dominant plant species, rather than what is present or what the late successional stage actually is, clears the way to justify destroying mature and old growth woody plant communities reducing them to bare dirt, ash, and the ultimate goal, grass for livestock forage.

    If you were to go out on the Dixie Forest and look at TNCs Serviceberry sites, you would see PJ, some Ponderosa Pine and a variety of shrubs growing there. Its the conifers that are the projects target. TNC states the major problem in Serviceberry sites istree encroachment by Pinyon-Juniper and Ponderosa Pine. The Dixie Forest can apparently get the most bang for the buck (a consideration in the TNC report) by slaying these trees. Why have trees when they can be replaced with exotic grass for cows instead? Any Serviceberry or Cliffrose plants present are likely to be killed as collateral damage in the vegetation purge being set in motion.

    TNC models the outcome of various forest destruction methods. For Serviceberry, these are: Chainsaw-Lopping, Herbicide+Plateau+Seed, Hypo-Hatchet-Spyke, Contractor Masticate+Herbicide+Seed, Inhouse Masticate+Herbicide+Seed, Rx Fire, Thin+Herbicide+Seed. A stench of herbicide wafts from the screen just reading about it.

    The Spyke HydroAx (I had to Google it) is an herbicide squirting ax that mainlines poison into a tree trunk. Seeding is to be done using exotic grass. The type of chemical generally referred to as herbicide is not revealed. Its likely to be the persistent plant poison Tebuthiuron, sold as Spike, that kills a broad range of woody vegetation. But who knows, it could be 2,4-D, glyphosate (Round Up), drifting Dicamba or a toxic brew of them all. Outside Roadless areas, all methods except chainsaws and fire are modeled for use. Inside Roadless areas, TNC finds a modest amount of tree encroachment which is high risk, so the forest would be Spyke hydro-hatcheted or burned in an Rx fire. They delight in making plant killing sound beneficial. Following deforestation, watersheds are proposed to be doused with Plateau (Imazapic) herbicide that interrupts plant seed germination and is touted as preventing cheatgrass.

    Theres already a big cheatgrass problem on this heavily grazed Forest that suffers many kinds of human impacts, with flammable cheatgrass carpeting understories of trees and shrubs in some areas, especially dominating in wildfire sites. Project disturbance will only make matters worse. Cheatgrass thrives in machine disturbed soils, hot deforested sites, and torn up cryptogamic crusts. These crusts are vital components of arid ecosystems, a living soil covering of lichens, mosses and blue-green algae that help prevent weeds, limit erosion, and sequester CO2. TNCs vegetation community descriptions and modeling are dead silent about crusts.

    Cheatgrass relishes the hot, dry conditions created by clearing the land of micro-climate moderating woody plants. It loves cattle grazing trampling tears up soils, manure and urine nutrients abound, and a half ton dispersal agent spreads seeds all over the place.

    A new scientific paper has yet again demonstrated that livestock grazing causes cheatgrass. Project disturbances will generate the perfect storm of conditions for cheatgrass to dominate in this chronically grazed landscape. No amount of herbicide will prevent it. TNC models project outcomes with proper livestock grazing, without detailing what this means. If it is grazing under the Forest Plan standards, the weeds stem from those failed policies. Another recent paper warns that frequent fires from annual arson grasses are causing forest loss.

    with climate change and human assistance we are moving to a grass world.

    The grasses are, more or less, like kindling. If someone lights a match and throws in the middle of a forest, it is unlikely a fire will start, but throw it in a field of cheatgrass and odds are that its going to catch.

    This raises the specter that arid mountains are fated to become treeless as cheatgrass and other annual weeds drive fire after fire, precluding native plant recovery. Proposing radical disturbance of the Pine Valley project in a landscape highly vulnerable to weed expansion is madness.

    TNCs cheatgrass cure-all is Plateau herbicide. Ive seen its handiwork in plenty of places. BLM revels in spraying this chemical in its cattle-centered fire rehab projects, and its own woody vegetation assaults. Plateau does not discriminate between cheatgrass seeds and native plant seeds when it halts germination. It disrupts natural recovery that may be taking place. Spray hype ignores that Plateau (plus 2,4-D or other chemicals that may be mixed in if cheatgrass has already started germinating) can kill the perennial native grasses and forbs that survived fires. BLM sprayed it to control cheatgrass after the Holloway Fire in eastern Oregon. Result: Gray stripes of dead herbicide-killed bunchgrass and lots of cheatgrass. In the aftermath of the 2015 Owyhee Idaho-Malheur Oregon Soda Fire, BLM spent vast sums on aerial spraying of Plateau. Theres now an explosion of cheatgrass and seas of expanding medusahead.

    TNCs Pine Valley modeling for Wyoming Sagebrush (85,000 acres, 100% departed) and other communities follows the Serviceberry pattern in lockstep. Areas occupied by trees are categorized as sage sites, found to be highly departed and uncharacteristic. In the immortal words of Ely BLM whose massive PJ killing projects have long relied on TNC methods, the forests are out of whack. This can only be cured by laying them to waste. For the 100,000 acres of Pine Valley Pinyon-Juniper forest that TNC concedes is present, 83% of the PJ is in a state of Departure. Across the landscape, TNC finds an out of balance build up of conifers.

    Landfire website information is key in TNC, BLM and the Forest Service categorizing plant communities in an earlier successional state as the norm, with minimal woody vegetation cover. Clicking on BPS at the Landfire site takes you to a TNC Conservation Gateway site. TNC has long been deeply involved in generating the data that underlies the manipulation of woody vegetation communities, with work supported by taxpayers through Challenge Cost Share grants. The FRCC site is cited as a joint government and TNC site:

    Homepage of the Interagency and The Nature Conservancy Fire Regime Condition Class website, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, The Nature Conservancy, and Systems for Environmental Management.

    I truly dont understand the whole circular reasoning process. I do, however, understand enough from reviewing scores of agency documents using BPS, FRCC and similar model artifices and classifications to justify radical deforestation and sagebrush destruction, to believe that this methodology has become a huge problem for conservation of wildlife habitats and biodiversity. I encourage other activists and scientists more skilled than me to critically examine it. The BPS and FRCC categories are used as the basis for finagling ways to attack late successional forests and shrubs. This lays the foundation for disrupting natural plant succession, preventing mature forests from developing, and destroying those that exist. Heres a typical goal from an Ely BLM document: Move the landscapes within the watersheds towards Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC) 1, with a mosaic of seral stages attaining the potential cover percentages of grasses and forbs for the respective biophysical settings (BpS).

    What Ely BLM does to a PJ forest that TNCs models proclaim to be Out of Whack.

    In Pine Valley, TNC admits that PJ grows in the similar elevation and precipitation zone as Serviceberry, but points to a hodgepodge of references at the Landfire site to proclaim that Serviceberry, not PJ is what should be present. Departure is based on the difference between the plants on the land now and the plants that are claimed to have been present under pre-settlement conditions.

    Fire return intervals and Fire Regime Condition Class from Landfire data (which TNC has been deeply involved in, and funded for, developing over the years) are used to divine pre-settlement plant reference communities. These fire return intervals are used to plot the Historical Range of Variability (HRV). FRCC uses the departure from HRV. The modeled plant community is called the Biophysical Setting (BPS). Monocultures of flammable cheatgrass and old growth forests can end up in the same agency FRCC category, Class 3. How can that be? Under the models, cheatgrass burns too frequently (which is true), and mature forests and sage have not burned frequently enough. Hence, the only recourse is treatment. Somehow it is only ever the forests that get treated by the Feds, not cheatgrass monocultures. Placing plant communities in FRCC Classes 2 and 3 is used by agencies for fire risk fearmongering. Class 1 is the stark ideal.

    A cardinal rule seems to be to never look outside the artificial world you are creating, to see what evidence is around you. Never consult historical sources from or about the early settlement era such as explorer or settler journals, Mining District records, the early Interior Departments General Land Office survey records or other sources. Never look at all the past agency veg clearing projects that drastically altered communities. Never look at what the land can tell you, the weathering stumps of very old trees, or blackened soils from charcoal processing. In this case, that extends to never look at the Forests Website. There, up until recently, by a photo of a stone monument to Mountain Meadows Massacre victims, was a photo of charcoal kilns from the regions iron ore mining and other evidence of considerable early settlement era disturbance.

    The Dixie country is no stranger to trickery and deceit. At Mountain Meadows in the project area, the Mormons Utah Territorial Militia (Nauvoo Legion) armed Southern Paiutes and coerced them into joining a militia attack on an emigrant wagon train bound for California. The Whites plotted to pin the attack on the Paiutes. Militiamen disguised themselves as Native Americans but feared some emigrants had seen through their disguises. Using a white flag of truce, they led all the emigrants over 8 years old to slaughter. John D. Lee, the only militiaman to be convicted, believed Brigham Young may have ordered the attack and concealed evidence. Surviving children recounted seeing the militiamen washing off war paint.

    Back to the TNC report. Its full of little boxes and connecting lines, called state and transition models. These diagrams of little boxes make it all appear very complicated when basically they represent disrupted plant community succession stages. The modeling rigamarole is aimed at keeping woody plant communities from existing on the land as a late successional climax stage, i.e. a fully developed forest and/or shrubland.

    The modeling is also infused with value judgments about the benign nature of crested wheatgrass, forage kochia and other plants the Forest Service and cattlemen prefer, in developing something termed Unified Ecological Departure defined with nonsensical jargon. This can only be cured by huge influxes of federal funds totaling as much as $550/acre for PJ mastication and herbicide, or $800/acre for aspen thinning.

    The Wests Arid Forests Are Being Ripped Apart Based on Modeling Chicanery Targeting Woody Plant Communities

    Beautiful wild places and irreplaceable wildlife habitat across public lands are being destroyed based on these convoluted modeling schemes. In Bodie Hills Bi-State Sage-Grouse country of California and Nevada, a TNC report is used by BLM as a basis for manipulation across the landscape. In Montana, TNC is aiding cattle ranchers in targeting lower elevation Douglas fir for eradication.

    Nevada Ely BLM Watershed Assessments (Cave and Lake Valleys, South Steptoe, Egan Johnson project and many others) are masterpieces of the Dark Arts and arcana of modeling deception in support of landscape-level attacks on forests and sagebrush. Fire return intervals and other information embraced and/or developed by TNC undergird the documents. The 2019 Ely BLM Long and Ruby Valley Watershed EA continues to use TNC Biophysical Setting (BPS) info via the Landfire sites link to TNCs own website.

    In Idaho, Owyhee BLM, NRCS, TNC and cattle ranchers long schemed to destroy the ancient juniper forests on Juniper Mountain by using bogus fire return intervals and other information from the Landfire site to model the trees out of existence. If a short enough fire return interval is used, the modeling finds that forests cant exist because the land burns too often. This aids BLM and the livestock industry immensely in Rangeland Health Assessment process. It provides a tree scapegoat that distracts attention from livestock damage. The land is defined as unhealthy because there are junipers present. Rather than deal with the cows, the agency gets rid of the trees. Abracadabra. Ancient forests vanish.

    Voodoo vegetation modeling map for Juniper Mountain, used to justify napalming many thousands of ancient Western Juniper trees across the rugged mountain. The maps left sidebar has no indication of any juniper at all being present. Zero juniper communities are mapped.

    Juniper Mountain was covered in Western Juniper forest before the trees were modeled out of existence, and fated for treatment.

    Six-foot diameter charred stump of Western Juniper after the Juniper Mountain forest was napalmed by BLM.

    These projects destroy native vegetation to generate more cattle forage across the West all the while claiming lofty goals of restoring pre-settlement plant communities, fire suppression, saving sage-grouse or other species, when in fact they are doing just the opposite.

    Expanse of Juniper Mountain Western Juniper, some still smoking in the aftermath of Owyhee BLMs Rx burn.

    The Dixie Forest modeling madness is mirrored in methods being used by federal agencies across the West. Ignore what is on the land now especially mature and old growth forests. Ignore crusts. Use the shortest fire return/disturbance intervals you can get away with. Ignore history. Conjure up plant community categories heavy on grass and short on woody plants. Categorize plant communities growing in the elevation and precipitation zone where Pinyon-Juniper grows as some other type of plant community with shorter fire return intervals. Design Ecosites and other models to justify keeping the land in a permanent state of arrested development, where theres more grass and less woody plant cover. Cloaked in scientific garb, TNC operates as an agent, enabler and tool of government and corporate policies tailored to benefit the livestock, logging and other industries, getting government grants for its work.

    Sagebrush communities cant rest easy either. Mature and old growth sagebrush with denser canopies exceed the amount of cover the models allow. Sage with splendid crusts but sparse grass cover, or sites where the cows have killed off understory plants, are similarly found to be deviant and uncharacteristic. Sagebrush that provides crucial habitat for Pygmy Rabbit, Brewers Sparrow, Sage Thrasher, Sage Sparrow and Sage-grouse must be mowed, roller-beat or otherwise abused. Passive restoration, removing grazing disturbance to heal understories, is verboten.

    Heres my non-trademarked Future Forecasting (even without consulting what happens when the Wheel of Fortune is reversed in the little Tarot book I found soggy in the street one day):

    Intertwined wild cards of climate change, weeds and grazing, now rule. Arid mountain ranges are becoming treeless. They are under siege from hotter temperatures, climate-driven fire and other stresses. Federal deforestation projects that denude mountains of climate-moderating trees and woody plant cover worsen the Climate Crisis. They fast forward potentially irreversible forest and shrub community loss.

    David Charlets Shah-Kan-Daw paper, written after a trip to Iran in the Bush Iraq War years, lays out the path the public lands are on. What happened to Irans forests and shrubs over many millenia is happening to the arid West in a heartbeat, less than 200 years. Federal projects based on flawed models are driving ecosystems past a point of no return.

    Instead of elaborate scheming to justify killing more trees and shrubs under a relentless Manifest Destiny management mindset, we must preserve all that we have. Shred the heap of BLM and Forest Service plans authorized or in the works, based on dodgy models designed to disrupt native woody communities. End weed-causing grazing. Apply the funds saved to developing bio-controls for annual grasses. Reforest and restore shrubs across our public lands.

    Cheatgrass and other weeds thriving 2 or 3 years after BLM cut and burned junipers in Pole Creek on Juniper Mountain.

    A wall of cheatgrass and bulbous bluegrass from Owyhee BLM Pole Creek juniper burning continuous tinder dry grass where four years ago there was forest cover.

    Voodoo Vegetation Modeling Dooms Native Forests and Wildlife Habitat - CounterPunch

    Apple breaks ground on its new 133-acre campus in Austin, Texas – The Architect’s Newspaper - December 4, 2019 by admin

    On November 20, multinational technology company Apple announced that it had broken ground on its new 133-acre office park in Austin, Texas, that will cost an estimated $1 billion to construct, and released a first look at the project. The campus, which will contain over three million square feet of usable interior space across 10 buildings once complete, will initially house 5,000 employees, with plans to eventually make room for over 15,000.

    Apple currently employs around 7,000 people throughout Austin, more than twice as many as it had just five years ago, and the company shows little signs of slowing down growth in the area. A production facility near the city has recently taken on the important task of building the latest fleet of Mac Pros and shipping them out to customers in December. With the construction of our new campus in Austin now underway, said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a press release, Apple is deepening our close bond with the city and the talented and diverse workforce that calls it home. Responsible for 2.4 million American jobs and counting, Apple is eager to write our next chapter here and to keep contributing to Americas innovation story.

    The company has partnered with Bartlett Tree Experts, an Austin-based tree and shrub care company, to ensure that the diversity of native trees on the property are responsibly preserved while increasing their numbers to stock the 50-acre nature and wildlife preserve planned for the site. In addition, the new campus will run entirely on renewable energy from locally-sourced solar power. The construction of the new campus reflects the companys commitment to contributing $350 billion to the US economy between 2018 and 2023, during which time it also plans to create 20,000 jobs.

    Like other buildings in Apples portfolio, the new campus will be awash in crisp white surfaces contrasted against floor-to-ceiling glass to reflect the companys minimalist identity. The new Apple campus is expected to be completed by 2022. While Apples UFO-like headquarters building in Cupertino, California, was designed by Foster + Partners, the company has not as of yet released information on who designed their Austin offshoot.

    The rest is here:
    Apple breaks ground on its new 133-acre campus in Austin, Texas - The Architect's Newspaper

    Invasive of the month Impact of ornamentals not pretty – Yellow Springs News - December 4, 2019 by admin

    After recent cold and snow, the fire of fall has mostly dimmed from the landscape. Gone or fading are the brilliant reds and pinks of burning bush, a popular ornamental shrub that lights up local yards each autumn.

    Pretty as it is, the shrub is considered invasive by most experts.

    Its not on the same scale as honeysuckle, its more a slow-moving thing, local landscaper and horticulturalist Bob Moore said in a recent interview.

    Still, Moore avoids using burning bush in his landscaping practice, opting instead for native bushes and small trees.

    Burning bush is one of a trio of invasive woody shrubs the News is highlighting this month. Rounding out the triple threat is common privet, often used as a privacy hedge, and Amur honeysuckle, the most widely known, and widely reviled, invasive plant species in our area. November is a good time to identify these species and remove them from your yard.

    The present article is the last in this seasons invasive of the month series, which began with a two-part article on the local impact of non-native invasive plants last spring, and continued with monthly features focused on specific invasives of local concern. The series was undertaken in consultation with Glen Helen.

    We plan to return with more of our local least wanted flora in the spring.

    How to identify

    Burning bush, Euonymus alatus, is the easiest to identify. It grows up to 10 feet tall, depending on the variety, with leaves that turn pink-red in the fall. Harder to spot are its tiny, dangling red berries. The shrubs autumn color and general hardiness account for its widespread planting, according to Moore.

    It was planted at every new house in our area for the last 30 years, he said.

    Common privet, Ligustrum vulgare, is a large shrub reaching up to 16 feet. Its dense branching structure makes it a popular privacy hedge. It has small leaves, which turn yellow or coppery in the fall, and clusters of blue-black fruits that persist into winter.

    Both burning bush and common privet are prevalent in yards throughout Yellow Springs, as well as in alleyways, weedy margins and local woods.

    Amur honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii, bedevils the landscape across our region. Though deciduous, this species of bush honeysuckle hangs onto its leaves into winter, and is one of the earliest plants to leaf out in the spring. Honeysuckles tenacity gives it a competitive edge over native plants and makes it easy to identify.

    See something green in the November woods, and chances are its honeysuckle.

    The plant produces clusters of bright red berries in late summer that remain through the fall, another identifying feature.

    Impact on local landscape

    All three species are widely considered invasive, but honeysuckle is in a class by itself. One of 38 non-native invasive plants banned for sale in Ohio, Amur honeysuckle has profoundly altered parts of the local landscape over the past 30 years. Where it moves in, native plants are crowded out and die off, leading some to dub Amur honeysuckle a green death.

    Honeysuckle has been especially destructive in local woods, where it takes the place of a rich understory layer. Honeysuckle-laden forests are less healthy and resilient, experts say.

    Honeysuckle is by far the most pervasive of the woody shrubs; it occupies ecological niches year-round, displacing many native species, Glen Helens land manager, Ben Silliman, wrote in a recent email.

    The Glen has cleared about 325 acres of honeysuckle to date, with a focus on higher-quality areas away from trails and roads, he added. The preserve occupies about 1,000 acres in total.

    Burning bush and common privet are less harmful than honeysuckle. Neither is currently on the states invasives list, but area experts still consider these species a threat.

    Burning bush is presently being assessed by the Ohio Invasive Plants Council, or OIPC, while several privet varieties are also under review. A fact sheet from the Ohio State University pinpoints the potential impact of common privet.

    Dense thickets of privet can form and crowd out desirable native woodland species, the fact sheet states.

    The fact sheet also notes that common privet thrives in sunlight but tolerates heavy shade, and leafs out early and holds leaves late all sources of competitive advantage over native plants.

    A recent post to the website of the Appalachian Ohio Weed Control Partnership warns of the negative impacts of burning bush.

    It thrives in the shade, where it displaces spring wildflowers and other natives. It is a very adaptable plant and can thrive in a variety of sites, wreaking havoc on a variety of native ecosystems, the post states.

    Locally, burning bush and common privet have moved into the Glen. Burning bush usually pops up as individual specimens that are pretty easily eradicated, according to Silliman. Common privet grows in riparian corridors, along the Yellow Springs Creek and the Little Miami River.

    Both species are spread by birds and other wildlife, which carry their seeds beyond landscaped areas into the woods. Seeds also get washed by rain and local waterways into the Glen. Such dispersal is the reason for avoiding planting these species in your yard or considering removing existing plants.

    How to manage

    Experts agree that honeysuckle should be removed. Period. But thats easier said than done.

    According to a fact sheet from the OIPC, the most effective way to control honeysuckle is through a combination of cutting and the selective use of an herbicide such as glyphosate.

    Well-established stands of bush honeysuckles are best managed by cutting the stems to ground level and painting or spraying the stumps, the fact sheet states.

    This is the method the Glen uses.

    Smaller stands, especially in shady areas where the plant is less resilient, may be eliminated by repeated cutting, provided plants are cut to the ground regularly over a period of years, according to the OIPC fact sheet. Consistency is key, because honeysuckle sprouts vigorously when cut.

    Regarding burning bush and common privet, smaller specimens can be cut down and dug out of the ground, with care taken to remove their root systems. For both plants, cutting and digging is best done when the ground is moist.

    Larger specimens of these species often require a combination of cutting and selective herbicide application, in the opinion of some area experts.

    The Appalachian Ohio Weed Control Partnership recommends painting the stump of burning bush with an herbicide after cutting. A similar treatment is described as one option for common privet, according to the Ohio State University fact sheet.

    Simply cutting the shrub off at the base will cause prolific sprouting and increase the number of stems, the fact sheet on privet states. Herbicide applied to the plants stump will kill its roots, the fact sheet continues.

    A word of caution when cutting privet: the Glens Silliman notes that mature privet has multiple hard but brittle stems that can throw the chain off a chain saw.

    Native alternatives

    The good, indeed beautiful, news? There are many attractive and ecologically useful native alternatives to invasive woody shrubs, according to Moore.

    In his experience, local residents want to plant natives, but hesitate to lose the privacy and sense of sanctuary that mature privet or honeysuckle provides.

    People know honeysuckle is really invasive, but they dont want to lose that sense of enclosure, he said.

    He works gradually with some local clients to replace invasives with a few native plantings a year, phasing out the non-native plants and allowing the new plantings to establish themselves and grow to greater size.

    Native bushes that could replace invasive woody shrubs include bottlebrush buckeye, sweetspire and some viburnums Moore favors viburnum juddii. Some varieties of hydrangea are also good options; oakleaf hydrangea, which is non-native but non-invasive, is especially lovely in the fall.

    Small native trees to consider include pawpaw, white fringe tree, redbud, American hornbeam, blackhaw, wahoo (a native member of the euonymus family, with bright pink berries in the fall) and dogwood varieties such as red twig and gray dogwood.

    There are really great natives to fill the honeysuckle void, Moore observed.

    Best of all, by replacing invasives with natives, homeowners can create a landscape that nourishes the soul, and the health, of local ecosystems.

    Youre developing a true sanctuary not just for you, Moore said.

    See more here:
    Invasive of the month Impact of ornamentals not pretty - Yellow Springs News

    Did You Leave Any of These Luxe Gifts Off the Sephora Wish List of Your Dreams? – POPSUGAR - December 4, 2019 by admin

    If you haven't considered the answer to "What do you want from Sephora if money were no object?," now is the time and here is the list to get you started. A $270 set of fake lashes, a $460 face cream, an $860 fragrance these are all included in this luxe roundup of Sephora gifts.

    Some of the best presents still come in small sizes or with petite prices, but that doesn't mean there's no room for a posh product or two on the gift list of your dreams, like those La Mer, Dyson, and Dior products you've been longingly eyeing. There are also some high-tech gifts that you may have never seen before like at-home self-tanning machines, microneedling devices, and rollers to smooth your body. All products you could easily and gladly work into your regular beauty regimen.

    These are the most luxe Sephora items that will have you thinking they really shouldn't have . . . but still be very, very happy that they did.

    Check them out ahead. (Santa, are you listening?)

    See the article here:
    Did You Leave Any of These Luxe Gifts Off the Sephora Wish List of Your Dreams? - POPSUGAR

    GALLERY: 74 pictures from The Press Business Awards 2019 – York Press - November 25, 2019 by admin

    THE best of business in the region was celebrated at The Press Business Awards 2019.

    More than 300 people attended a glittering black tie ceremony at York Racecourse where plant, tree and shrub supplier Johnsons of Whixley Ltd won the coveted title of The Press Business of the Year.

    They were the big winners on a night when 11 awards were handed out at the event, which was sponsored by TalkTalks York Ultra Fibre Optic project.

    Don't miss The Press on Wednesday for a 12-page souvenir supplement on the awards ceremony.

    Read more about the awards night here>>

    The Press Business Awards 2019 roll of honour

    Small Business of the Year (sponsored by Hethertons Solicitors)

    Winner ISF

    Finalists Netsells, RotaCloud

    New Business of the Year (sponsored by Make It York)


    ilke Homes Ltd

    Finalists Angela Bare, York Gin

    Socially Responsible Business of the Year (sponsored by York St John University)

    Winner Benenden Health

    Finalists Torque Law LLP, Choc Affair

    Employer of the Year (sponsored by Langleys Solicitors)

    Winner Benenden Health

    Finalists Home Instead Senior Care, ilke Homes Ltd

    Large Business of the Year (sponsored by LOCALiQ)

    Winner The Skills Network

    Finalists Soanes Poultry, Johnsons of Whixley Ltd

    Business Personality of the Year (sponsored by York Racecourse)

    Winner Tricia Sheriff

    Finalists Graham Usher, Tarnia Hudson

    Business Innovation of the Year (sponsored by the University of York)

    Winner Netsells

    Finalists Tancream, Roche Legal

    Family Business of the Year (sponsored by Shepherd Group)

    Winner Johnsons of Whixley Ltd

    Finalists Playscheme, Glencor Golf Holidays

    Retail, Tourism and Leisure Business of the Year (sponsored by Synergy Commercial Finance)

    Winner Spirit of Yorkshire

    Finalists Jorvik Viking Centre, Humble Bee Leisure

    Exporter of the Year (sponsored by The Press)

    Winner Maxwell-Scott

    Finalists Maximise PM Ltd, Wold Top Brewery

    The Press Business of the Year (sponsored by Talk Talk)

    Johnsons of Whixley Ltd

    Go here to read the rest:
    GALLERY: 74 pictures from The Press Business Awards 2019 - York Press

    10 wild fruits of Uttarakhand that have medicinal properties – Firstpost - November 20, 2019 by admin

    The captivating beauty of the Himalayas is indescribable. The snowy peaks, the breathtaking valleys and dark forests! The Himalayan range is also home to various plants that have medicinal uses. Here are few wild fruits, all found in Uttarakhand, which have been traditionally used for medicinal purpose:

    Representational image. Image source: Getty Images.

    Botanical name:Ficus auriculata

    Also known as Roxburgh fig tree, timla is found in Asian forests. Its fruit is sweet and brownish or purplish in colour.

    Medicinal uses: Timla can be used to maintain blood pressure (BP) in people living with hypertension. It can also be used to treat constipation, as it acts as a laxative and helps regulate the digestive system. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, too.

    Botanical name:Rubus ellipticus Sm.

    These golden-yellow Himalayan raspberries actually belong to the rose family. They are found in the wilds of Uttarakhand and Nepal. They are deliciously sour, in the way raspberries usually are.

    Medicinal uses: Not only does it have a fruity flavour, but the berry is also used to treat indigestion. The roots of the hisalu plant are used to treat stomach pains and headaches.

    Botanical name:Myrica esculenta

    Commonly known as box berry, this fruit is found in the sub-tropical Himalayas. The fruit is sweet, and locals typically eat it whole - seeds and all.

    Medicinal uses: Kafal is a naturally occurring antioxidant. It is widely used in folk medicine to treat ailments such as cough, chronic bronchitis, ulcers, anaemia, fever, diarrhoea, and ear, nose, and throat disorders.

    Botanical name:Prunus subg. Prunus

    Plums are low-calorie fruits that don't spike your blood sugar. They can be eaten raw, dried or in jam form. The plums of the Uttarakhand forests are slightly different from the variety you get in the metros - the fruit is usually a brighter red, and sweet and sour to taste.

    Medicinal uses: Plums are rich in vitamin C and so they nourish and purify the skin. They also boost immunity.

    Botanical name:Ficus palmata

    Commonly known as the Punjab fig, bedu is found in the wilds of Uttarakhand. The fruit is sweet - as you would expect figs to be.

    Medicinal uses: Bedu helps in relieving inflammation (demulcent) and its sap is used in the treatment of warts. It is also used for the treatment of constipation and diseases of the lungs and bladder. The sap is used by the local inhabitants to take out spines (small needle-like covering on some fruits and tree bark, like in cacti) lodged deep in the skin.

    Botanical name:Pyracantha crenulata

    Ghigaru is also known as Himalayan firethorn and Nepalese firethorn. It tastes a bit likejamunsand dries out your mouth slightly.

    Medicinal uses: The antioxidants present in this fruit help in maintaining blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. It is also rich in beta-carotene (a great source of vitamin A), iron, and potassium.

    The leaves are used in the preparation of herbal teas and sunburn creams. An infusion made by steeping the bark of this shrub is given to girls in case of heavy menstrual bleeding.

    Botanical name:Prunus armeniaca

    Khubani is commonly known as apricot. The yellow-peach coloured fruit is sweet. It belongs to the same family as plum and cherries.

    Medicinal uses: Apricots are great antioxidants. They are highly fibrous and maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. They are also rich in vitamin C and potassium.

    Botanical name:Morus alba L.

    These mulberries are white and can be cultivated in home gardens as well. They're typically sweeter than the red or purple mulberries we get in the plains of north India.

    Medicinal uses: Mulberries have bioactive components like alkaloids and flavonoids which have antioxidant properties. These white mulberries have anti-cholesterol, anti-obesity and hepatoprotective (liver-protecting) effects.

    Botanical name:Aegle marmelos (L.)

    Also known as bael, siriphal is typically used for pujas or for its medicinal purposes.

    Medicinal uses: Clinical studies have shown thatAegle marmelospossesses antidiarrhoeal, antimicrobial, antiviral, radioprotective, antipyretic (cures fever), ulcer healing, antifertility and anti-inflammatory properties. These help in the prevention and treatment of many diseases.

    Botanical name:Rhododendron arboreum

    Burans is a bright scarlet, bell-shaped flower filled with sweet nectar seen in the Himalayan range in India, Bhutan and Nepal at altitudes of 1200 m. Though you'll find bottled juice of burans everywhere in the shops, the traditional way to consume the honey-sweet nectar is straight from the flower.

    Medicinal uses: The juice of the bark is used in the treatment of coughs, diarrhoea and dysentery. Burans has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. Its juice is said to be beneficial for diabetics, menstrual disorders and relief from persistent allergies.

    Health articles in Firstpost are written by, Indias first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article onMulberry: Uses, Benefits and Side-Effects.

    Updated Date: Nov 19, 2019 16:57:51 IST

    Tags : Apricot, FIG, Himalayan Fruits, Medicinal Flowers, Medicinal Fruits, Mulberries, NewsTracker, Plum, Rhododendron, Uttarakhand, Wild Fruits

    Original post:
    10 wild fruits of Uttarakhand that have medicinal properties - Firstpost

    2019 Tree Pruning Cost & Price Estimates | Shrub … - October 17, 2019 by admin

    Professional Tree Pruning Cost

    The national average tree pruning cost is $429 though most people might pay $180 and $681. This is an important part of keeping them healthy and strong. Some people forget that if you don't trim or prune trees and shrubs, they can grow too dense, which prevents water from reaching the roots and sunlight from touching the exterior. This might leave the plant lush on the outside, but the inside dies.

    The price range for tree pruning depends on many factors including:

    Check with several professionals when getting a quote for your tree pruning, as these factors could affect how much you pay for the process. Larger trees with a greater girth could cost more. Trees planted close to power lines or your home could also increase the cost. There are certain types of trees with thick branches that are harder to cut. Healthy trees are usually easier to prune, whereas trees with diseases or pests take extra work and will increase the total cost of your pruning work by a professional.

    The appropriate time to have your trees pruned depends on a few factors, like:

    Experts recommend pruning a tree while it is dormant, or when the tree is not actively growing. Different trees have different growth periods, and the only exception to this rule is when the tree causes a safety hazard.

    Large trees usually cost more than smaller trees to prune by professionals. There are more branches, and they often are more difficult to reach because of the height and width of the tree. On average, trees 60 feet and taller will cost between $800 and $1000 to prune, depending on the number of trees to prune and where theyre located. Extremely tall trees will incur further costs. You should get several quotes from arborists before proceeding with this project.

    As with tree pruning, maintenance costs average between $400 and $600, depending on tree type, maintenance needed and the expertise level of your professional. Always ask for a quote before proceeding with work.

    Several services available to keep your trees healthy and your yard beautiful include:

    Some extra costs may be applied to tree maintenance work, such as a travel fee if your arborist has to travel a long distance to your property. You might also pay for the labor, materials or equipment and additional factors like the trees location, disease control or pesticide application if there are insects on the tree. Always request the inclusion of any extra fees in the quote to avoid unpleasant surprises.

    Since 2002, the emerald ash borer has caused damage to ash trees all over the Eastern and Midwestern United States. The adult beetles can cause little damage. The larvae, on the other hand, feed on the inner bark of ash trees, which disrupts the ashs ability to transport water and nutrients to its branches.

    There are several treatments available to control emerald ash borer infestation. Some of the most effective involve trunk injection or pesticides. Protection against the emerald ash borer requires a yearly treatment, usually applied in May or early June. The cost of emerald ash borer treatment is about $20 to $30 per year and on a per tree basis. Depending on the size of the tree, it might take up to two years before the tree is fully protected. If the ash tree is infected too badly, it will need to be removed, which can cost up to $1,000.

    If you have questions or concerns about a possible emerald ash borer infestation, it is best to consult a certified arborist for advice. Left unchecked, an infestation can result in the death of the tree.

    In the West, spanning from the Rocky Mountains to Canada, 70,000 square miles of forest have died because of beetles. This includes ips beetles, spruce beetles, fir beetles and the mountain pine beetle. These beetles are tied to a larger problem in the area like warmer temperatures and stress on trees due to the changing climate.

    Treating trees infested with these beetles is much harder because there isnt really a way to save the tree once its infected. You can kill some of the beetles during an epidemic because theyll emerge from the tree. Otherwise though, you usually have to remove the tree. It can cost between $100 and $150 per tree in such situations. Some other facts about beetle treatment and removal include:

    Although different trees enter their dormant season at different stages, theres a basic seasonal pattern you can follow for general tree care.

    Spring: During spring, fertilize and water your trees so they grow strong and healthy in the summer. Its a bad idea to prune most trees in the spring because they are actively growing branches, buds and leaves. However, its a good time to plant new trees, so do your shopping early so your tree is in the ground for the heavy spring growing period.

    Summer: In the summer, you should mostly leave your trees alone. Only conduct minor trimming or hazard removal if required. Unusually dry weather may require some extra watering, but if you water your grass regularly, your trees should be fine too.

    Fall: Usually, trees go into their dormant phase in the fall season. This is the time to do major pruning and trimming to prepare the tree for next year. Remove dead and diseased branches, trim the top and sides for access to sunlight and for shape and generally complete any work that requires more than a few snips.

    Winter: You can leave your trees alone during the winter. Protect them against the cold and snow if necessary. Use the winter to fell any trees that are dead, dying or may damage your home. However, note that winter is actually the best time to prune your trees. Arborists are also less busy, which may lead to lower prices.

    Fruit trees are among the most popular trees to prune. Apple, lemon, plum, cherry, fig and peach trees, for example, need regular pruning to grow delicious fruit every year. Leaving dead or diseased branches on these trees could jeopardize the quality and quantity of fruit.

    Prune apple trees in the late spring or early winter. Its especially important to do so during the first six years of an apple trees lifeyoure teaching it to grow in a conical, upwards shape. Prune the lower branches to raise its base, then remove any stems that arent growing upwards. Older apple trees should be pruned to maintain the conical shape and to promote apple growth.

    Prune lemon trees right after they're finished bearing fruit for the season. Start by cutting off dead or diseased branches. Feel free to cut off stems that are thinner than a pencil, those that touch the ground (to prevent insects) and branches that cross other branches or grow vertically. Thin the tree so sunlight can reach every branch.

    Plum trees should be pruned during the summer, between June and August, to prevent fungal infections that may come with wet weather. Do it on clear, dry days with as little moisture as possible in the air. Plum trees have to be pruned every year, but they are very resilient, so even a little bit of over-trimming shouldnt hurt the tree. As with any fruit tree, remove lower branches and make sure sunlight can make it to every fruit-bearing stem.

    Pruning cherry trees is delicate work, but the beautiful cherry blossoms every spring are well worth the effort. Cherry trees should be pruned in the early fall, as this is when they enter their dormant season. Remove the water sprouts, or suckers, which are the new growths at ground level. Avoid cutting branches that meet the trunk of the tree and making many small cuts all over the tree. Only cut stems that take away from the growth or beauty of your tree and use the trees natural shape to guide you.

    Fig trees can seem tricky, but learning the basic schedule and techniques will give you a strong tree and delicious fruit for years to come. Prune your tree several times over the first winter after youve transplanted the tree. You can remove as much as half of the branch growth! This is meant to give your tree a strong root system, which will support your tree in the years ahead. As time progresses, prune your fig tree so that it grows low, horizontal branches. Choose 4-6 main branches to hold the fruit. Removing suckers at the base of the trunk also keeps your fig tree healthy.

    If youd rather prune your tree yourself, make sure you know some basic techniques and use the right tools for the job. A tree thats pruned too much or the wrong way can be irreparably damaged.

    Choose the right kind of branch to cut by its size first. Any branch thats less than five centimeters in diameter (about 2 inches) is okay to cut. Consider branches between 5 and 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inches) more carefully. If you are unsure, leave it there. Any branch bigger than 10 centimeters (4 inches) should stay on the tree unless you have an excellent reason to cut it, such as disease or a safety hazard.

    You can also choose your branches by the angles they make with other branches. Weak, V-shaped angles indicate good candidates for cutting. Branches growing on a U-shaped angle should stay on the tree. Aim for a 2-to-3 ratio between the crown size and the tree height. You should never cut away more than of a trees crown at a time.

    There are three basic techniques for crown work:

    Before you cut, identify the branch collar at the base of the branch as well as the branch ridge, which is parallel to the branch itself. Cut outside of the ridge and away from the collar.

    To successfully prune your tree yourself, you need the right tools.

    Remember to clean your tools carefully after each job and whenever you change the type of tree to prevent communicating diseases from one plant to another. Rubbing alcohol of 70% concentration or more is sufficient. Do not use household cleaners or bleach.

    As you explore your options for hiring a tree service to prune or trim your trees and shrubs, look at certified arborists. An arborist or arboriculturist is a professional in the cultivation, management and study of trees, shrubs, vines and perennial woody plants. In the US, certified arborists must have three years of documented experience and have to pass a difficult written exam.

    They are useful when you have specific care issues with your tree, like disease or insect infestation. If you grow fruit trees, a certified arborist will know how to care for your tree to maximize your harvest quantity and quality. However, because of their training, they tend to charge more than non-certified tree service professionals. Their expertise and standards are higher and thus command greater fees.

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    2019 Tree Pruning Cost & Price Estimates | Shrub ...

    Identifying Shrub Disease – Love Your Landscape - September 20, 2019 by admin

    Homeowners strive to maintain healthy plant life in their gardens and landscapes, but oftentimes shrubs suffer casualties, or fall ill from disease for a variety of reasons. From too little watering to pest infestation, proper disease identification is crucial to the survival of your shrubs. Depending on the specific type of shrub affected, the disease, diagnosis and treatment will all vary.

    Similar to humans, when the needs of shrubs are not met, a decline in health will result. A landscape professional, trained and knowledgeable about plant health, can inspect and diagnose sick shrubs but for those determined to do a little self-diagnosing, here are some fundamentals to get you started.

    Begin your prognosis by eliminating improper growing conditions or shrub pests as the culprits for your shrubs demise by looking for gnaw marks or stripped leaves, which will indicate rodents, rabbits, or deer. Once you are certain your shrub isnt being eaten by bugs or animals, you can move on to analyzing the type of disease. When diagnosing shrub disease, there are two categories for which your ick will be classified: abiotic or biotic. Abiotic diseases are man-induced diseases that involve non-living factors such as lack of space for root growth, prolonged levels of water toxins, or extreme heat, light or soil pH levels. There are a host of resources on those topics. Lets explore the biotic causes of woody-shrub diseases that are scientifically or biologically-induced, such as fungi, bacteria, viruses and nematodes.

    Identifying the Disease in Woody-Shrub Fungus Materials

    Its important to note that you should identify your infected shrub first as not all diseases affect one type of plant. This will help narrow down your market of diseases to identify. Be sure to check the trunk, leaves, branches and roots to note the specific symptoms from which your shrub is suffering. There are numerous types of shrub diseases so lets explore some of the most common biotic diseases and symptoms of what to look for when diagnosing your sick shrubs and how to treat each disease.

    Fungus: Powdery Mildew Fungus

    This common type of disease is a fungal growth that leaves a white powder on surfaces of shrub foliage.


    Bacteria: Fire Blight

    This common type of bacteria leaves twigs and branches on shrubs wilted and blackened. Often, the affected branches will bend over into the shape of a shepherds crook.



    Symptoms include browning shrubbery and vegetation, which may cause undergrowth to die and/or fall off the plant. Root systems will be affected and plant growth will be stunted.


    Virus: Rose Mosaic Disease

    You will notice signs of this virus if your shrub experiences color changes in its leaves, specifically a mosaic pattern of light or dark greens. Additional symptoms and signs include stunted growth and uncommon color changes.



    Many people focus on the health of their plants in the summer and then that attention wanes. Its important to be proactive to prevent shrub disease throughout the year. Be aware of the following factors that are all important to good plant health:

    While these are some of the most comment shrub diseases, theres a laundry list of other culprits that can be detrimental to your plants. A landscape professional can help identify problem posers and identify an appropriate treatment plan and recommend steps to ward off disease before it strikes.

    Photos courtesy of Sun Valley Landscaping, Omaha, NE.

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    Identifying Shrub Disease - Love Your Landscape

    Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed … - April 26, 2019 by admin

    + Read More

    How do I use this product?

    Just measure. Sprinkle and water in. Protects and feeds entire tree and shrub

    How much Bayer Advanced 12 Month TreeandShrub ProtectandFeed Concentrate should be applied?

    Trees: 1 oz. for every inch of distance around trunk; treats four trees that measure 8 inches around trunk.

    Shrubs: 3 oz. for every foot of height; treats five shrubs that are 2-feet-tall.

    Containerized Plants: 1 2/3 tablespoons for each 5 gallon container; treats up to 42 5-gallon containers.

    Where can Bayer Advanced 12 Month TreeandShrub ProtectandFeed II Concentrate be applied?

    Outdoor trees and shrubs, including listed fruit and nut trees, and containerized plants. (Not intended to be used on trees that will be used for edible food. This product is only for non-bearing fruit and nut trees. Non-bearing fruits and nuts are plants that do not bear edible fruits and nuts for at least 12 months after application of pesticides.)

    Can Bayer Advanced 12 Month TreeandShrub ProtectandFeed Ready-To-Use Granules be used on any edible crops?

    Listed fruit and nut trees are as follows: Apple, Loquat, Oriental Pear, Pecan, Crabapple, Mayhaw, Pear and Quince. (Not intended to be used on trees that will be used for edible food. This product is only for non-bearing fruit and nut trees. Non-bearing fruits and nuts are plants that do not bear edible fruits and nuts for at least 12 months after application of pesticides.)

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    Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed ...

    Shrub Disease Treatment | Save Your Shrubs with SavATree - April 5, 2019 by admin

    Shrub disease protection begins with a comprehensive inspection of your landscape by one of our ISA certified arborists. During this inspection, your arborist will be able to determine the overall health of the landscape and recommend appropriate disease or other treatments which can improve the condition of your trees and shrubs and preserve the vitality of your property.

    Fire blight is caused by the bacteria Erwinia amylovora, over 130 members of the Rosaceae family are susceptible, including; apple and crabapple, cotoneaster, firethorn, hawthorn, mountain ash, and pear. Infected leaves, stems, twigs and fruits will turn brown to black. Fire blight will blacken the smooth-barked, green branches and affected twigs develop a shepherds crook.

    Needle, tip or twig blights occur on arborvitae, cypress and juniper species turning tips of twigs and ends of needles brown or grey. Black, pimple-like fungal fruiting structures may develop on needle surfaces. These blights can be caused by fungi in the genera Phompsis, Diplodia or Coryneum.

    Cercospora species and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides are two of several fungi which cause leaf spot diseases on Rhododendron species and azalea cultivars. Small, irregular brown to black spots will appear on leaves, which will eventually drop prematurely, when infected by Cercospora spp. Lesions caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides are round, brown spots visible on both upper and lower surfaces of leaves. These fungal diseases may first appear as symptoms of winter desiccation.

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    Shrub Disease Treatment | Save Your Shrubs with SavATree

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