This Issue Presents…
Editor: Richard S. Wolowicz
January-February 2017 — Issues 1 & 2 (pages 1-16)
March-April 2017 — Issues 3 & 4 (pages 17-32)
May-June 2017 — Issues 5 & 6 (pages 33-48)
July-August 2017 — Issues 7 & 8 (pages 49-64)
September-October 2017 — Issues 9 & 10 (pages 65-80)
November-December 2017 — Issues 11 & 12 (pages 81-96)
|2016 Green Community Award Winners Announced||1|
|A Tree of Life||28|
|Agricultural and Forest Entomology||28|
|Anderson, Marcia||17, 88|
|Annual Meeting of the NJSTF Announced||17|
|Biopesticides Are Working to Control Gypsy Moths||88|
|Branch Brook Park Alliance||2|
|China's Great Green Wall Fights Expanding Desert||73|
|Corporate Sponsors Recognized||83|
|Critical Environmental Collapse: Hundreds of Millions of Trees are Dying in North America||41|
|CTE Page: Spring Planting Season — Select the Right Tree||21|
|CTE Page: Winter Stresses on Trees & Shrubs||4|
|Dangers of Root Disturbance||44|
|Director's Discourse||33, 49, 65|
|Elmendorf, Ph.D., William||36|
|Glen Ridge Borough||3|
|How Tree Roots Affect Soil||90|
|LTE Page: Attention — Certified Tree Experts and Tree Care Operators||35|
|LTE Page: Decay Can Cause Hazardous Defects in Trees||86|
|LTE Page: Type of Pruning Depends on Age of Tree||52|
|LTE Page: Tree Roots Need Protection||68|
|Make Your Municipality a Tree City USA Municipality||20|
|Massa, Donna||1, 33, 49, 65|
|National Geographic Magazine||67|
|NJ Federation Officers and Directors for 2016-2017||6|
|NJ Shade Tree Federation P&L Statement 10/2015-9/2016||9|
|Nominations are Open for the Green Communities Awards||61|
|Petri, Alexandra E.||73|
|Purchase a ‘Treasure Our Trees’ License Plate||20|
|Rutgers' New Pink Dogwood Adds Breakthrough Color to the Landscape||25|
|SFS Gate Home Guides||90|
|Sign Up for the Electronic Version of The Shade Tree||28, 34|
|Study: Invasive Bugs Found in Fallen Trees Years After Storm||28|
|The Plight of the Plane Trees||57|
|Unintended Consequences of Transporting Firewood||17|
|Urban and Community Forest Inventory Survey Results||60|
|What We Can Learn From Trees||67|
|Working with Local Government for Successful Urban Forests||36|
|William J. Porter Award of Appreciatin Recipient Announced||85|
Each year the NJ Shade Tree Federation awards the William J. Porter Award of Appreciation to an individual who has given much of his/her time to support the mission of the Federation. This year's recipient is William Brash.
Bill is a man that works very hard for the tree industry and does so with little accolades. Since 1998, he has been a member of the NJ Community Forestry Council and currently serves as Chair. He sits on the Shade Tree Commission in Freehold Township. He was instrumental in the implementation and successful completion of a very large No Net Loss project in Robbinsville, New Jersey. He has been a friend and supporter of the NJ Shade Tree Federaton for many years, even joining us as a past speaker at our Conference.
Bill is the owner of Shelterwood Forest Managers and is also the President of the New Jersey Fire Safety Council.
Bill is passionate about trees and their importance to our communities. He gives much of his time and efforts without hesitation. He is instrumental in pursuing a better, greener community.
The Board of Directors of the New Jersey Shade Tree Federation recognizes Bill's endless efforts with this year's presentation of the William J. Porter Award of Appreciation.
Tree failure is a major cause of residential property damage, as well as the leading cause of power outages nationwide. An ice storm can overload all the branches on a tree, a hurricane or high wind can blow down a tree if its roots are compromised, or a cracked tree can fail under its own weight.
"Homeowners worried about trees falling and damaging property should call a professional arborist for an on-site inspection," advises Tchukki Andersen, staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association.
Andersen notes that trees are designed to withstand most storms, but all trees can fail — and defective trees fail sooner than healthy trees. A sound tree becomes potentially dangerous when the tree's woody structure is weakened by one or more defects. During storms, pre-existing defects predispose trees to failure.
"To a professional arborist," notes Andersen, "defects are visible signs that a tree has the potential to fail." Broadly defined, there are seven categories of defects: decayed wood, cracks, root problems, weak branch unions, cankers, poor tree architecture, and dead trees, tops or branches.
Stress — Healthy, well-maintained trees growing on suitable sites will be able to minimize the extent of decay and other defects. Trees that are stressed have reduced energy reserves, and therefore have less ability to deal with wounds and decay.
Most urban trees survive on construction-altered soils that may be compacted, poorly drained, high in clay, sand or gravel, very alkaline or littered with construction debris. Additonally, many urban trees are subjected to chemicals such as deicing salts, herbicides and fertilizers commonly used in landscape maintenance. Poor tree maintenance is another contributor to stress. These cumulative stresses all take a toll on tree vitality and structural integrity, increasing the risk of failure.
Defects and Decay — Professional arborists have an understanding of the factors that create or accelerate the development of defects in trees. They also understand that some species have growth characteristics that make them prone to certain defects.
All defective trees cannot be detected, corrected or eliminated. Although a professional arborist can readily recognize most defects, there are root problems and some internal defects that are hidden. These trees may require in-depth assessments and specialized diagnostic tools. Homeowners should also keep in mind that defects change with time. A tree that looked fine three years ago may have severe problems today. By doing regular inspections, arborists can successfully manage the risk of tree failure. Advanced decay and cavities result in less structural strength and reduced stability. Wood decay is an internal process with just a few external indications, such as mushrooms, conks, rotten or punky wood, cavities, hollows, holes, in-rolled cracks, and bulges in the wood.
The healthy layer surrounding the decay column is called the shell. If the shell thickness is thin, relative to the size of the tree, the shell is likely to fracture, causing the tree to fail. A tree can have internal decay and an opening and still be structurally sound, provided that the shell is thick enough and the opening is not too wide.
If a tree is repeatedly wounded by the presence of in-rolled cracks, included bark, canker-rot fungi, or equipment (mowers, plows and weed whips,) decay occurs in every annual ring of wood. These trees should be carefully inspected by a professional arborist because they do not form a sound shell of wood. The tree is likely to fail at the or near the location of the crack, or would because a large and ever-expanding column of decay is present there. Again, a professional arborist can evaluate shell thickness and opening width to help determine the tree's potential for failure.
This information is brought to you by the Tree Care Industry Association and the NJ Board of Tree Experts.
The gypsy moth is one of 14 insects identified by the World Conservation Union in its recently released list of the 100 World's Worst Invasive Alien Species. For over a century, the gypsy moth has earned its reputation as one of the most notorious pests of hardwood trees in the eastern United States. It has been slowly moving south and west, into VA, NC and MI, defoliating a million or more forested acres each year and killing or weakening trees that are defoliated in consecutive years. Stands of oak are the gypsy moth's preferred host followed by other hardwoods, such as apple, sweetgum, gray and white birch, and poplar. Gypsy moth larvae reach maturity between mid-June and early July.
The gypsy moth was introduced into the United States from Europe in 1869 by a Massachusetts businessman hoping to breed the gypsy moth with the Silkworm to produce hardier US silkworms. The moths escaped from the lab and the rest is history. Over the past 100+ years, millions of dollars have been invested in researching methods for controlling gypsy moths, including releasing parasitoids and predators from Europe and using fungi, viruses and bacteria to kill the larvae.
These natural enemies are now established in the parts of North America that have gypsy moths and can help to control modest population outbreaks. Natural parasitoids of the gypsy moth include two wasps and two flies, each of which lays its eggs in the caterpillars. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the gypsy moth caterpillar, ultimately killing their host. Predators of the gypsy moth include ground beetles, ants, nematodes, birds, and small mammals. In addition, several organisms are now being successfully used to control gypsy moth larvae including a bacterium, fungus, and virus. Best of all, these organisms infect and kill the larvae without harm to people or beneficial insects like honeybees.
These naturally occuring bacteria, viruses, fungi and pheromones can now be mass produced as biological pesticidal products. These biopesticides can be particularly effective when incorporated into Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs that include conventional pesticides. Biopesticides can also be effective in helping delay the resistance that pests commonly develop when a pesticide is used repeatedly. When a biological pesticide is substituted for a conventional pesticide, the cycle of repeated applications that lead to pest and disease resistant populations is broken, extending effective lifespan of the conventional product.
Only the larval stage of the gypsy moth damages trees and shrubs. The hatching of gypsy moth eggs and larval emergence coincides with the budding of most hardwood trees in the spring. That is the time for the first application of the biopesticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a naturally-occuring soil bacterium that has become an important tool in many IPM programs.
Bt is a microbial pesticide that must be eaten by insect larvae to be effective. After ingesting Bt, the larvae stop feeding and die within a few days. Because Bt must be eaten to work, good spray coverge of the plant leaves is essential for control. Bt used for controlling gypsy moth has no effect on other types of insects (such as bees) except for other larvae that eat the treated leaves. It is also considered to be "practically nontoxic" to humans and other vertebrates. Bt works best as part of an IPM plan.
Viral Control The Lymantria dispar Nucleopolyhedris virus (NPV) is a naturally occurring organism, that persists in the soil and has been developed as a microbial pesticide specific to the gypsy moth. It is presently registered by the EPA under the name "Gypchek" and is used by the USDA Forest Service to control moth larvae in environmentally sensitve areas. The NPV is also called ‘wilt’ and has the ability to cause a dramatic collapse of gypsy moths when their populations are high. Gypsy moths ‘catch’ the virus when they eat foliage contaminated with viral occlusion bodies which contain the particles. The alkaline condition of the gypsy moth gut dissolves the occlusion bodies and the virus particles penetrate through the gut wall. The virus reproduces rapidly, quickly liquefies the moth's internal organs, causing death. Once the gypsy moth eats foliage with the NPV virus, it takes roughly 10-14 days for death to occur. The virus is unable to infect humans or other mammals because it cannot replicate in mammalian cells.
One fungal pathogen, Entomophaga maimaiga (Em), has been successful in controlling gypsy moth populations in the eastern United States. The fungus has not been successful produced commercially, but spreads naturally and is a very important component in keeping gypsy moth populations suppressed once they have become established in an area. The caterpillars become infected when they contact the fungus on the ground as they crawl from tree to tree. Fungal spores actively shoot out of the dead larvae, disperse into the environment, and spread quickly to other caterpillars.
Finally, gypsy moth caterpillars enter the pupal stage when they metamorphose into moths ready to reproduce. Female gypsy moths do not fly so they must attract male moths by emitting the pheromone. This mating phase is when imitation pheromones are effective in disrupting mating. When pheromones are applied throughout an area, the male moths are confused by the multitude of aerial plumes. This significantly lowers their chances of locating and mating with a female, effectively breaking the reproductive cycle.
Another IPM tactic to block gypsy moth larvae from feasting on specimen trees is to use barrier bands. These consist of double-sided tape, sticky barriers, petroleum jelly, or grease applied to the surface of an impermeable material to prevent larvae from crawling up the trunks of susceptible trees.
To help manage the gypsy moth on smaller properties, some people collect and destroy egg masses and caterpillars. Excerse caution when handling the egg masses because the hairs that coat them can cause an allergic reaction.
Maintaining the health of your specimen trees will go a long way in giving the trees an edge in surviving a gypsy moth defoliation event. Best practices for tree management in areas prone to gypsy moth invasions include peoper fertilization, following the label when applying herbicides near trees, and using mulch or ground cover plants.
The trees in our yard improve our quality of life. They beautify the landscape, give us shade from the sun, produce oxygen and invite birds to our property. Some trees produce edible fruit and others lace the air with the intoxicating aroma of flowers. The roots of a tree typically extend underground beyond the canopy of the tree. Naturally, these roots can affect the surrounding soil in both positive and negative ways.
Improving the soil's structure increases fertility and helps prevent soil erosion. A tree's penetrating roots improve the soil structure by improving aeration and drainage. Probing root growth breaks up the soil, which creates spaces for storing air and water. Tree roots improve drainage because each root acts as an underground water channel to help water penetrate the soil.
Some trees' roots add nutrients to the soil, which naturally fertilizes surrounding plants. The roots from leguminous trees add nitrogen to the soil by a process known as nitrogen fixation. Leguminous trees produce long flat pods and include the genus Acacia, Cassia and Prosopis. Eucalyptus and Jack Pine exude substances from their roots that increase the availability of phosphorus.
A tree's deep strong root system protects against soil erosion due to heavy rain and flooding. The roots of healthy, mature trees do the best job of preventing soil erosion, whether the tree produces many smaller roots or a few larger tap roots. After the tree dies or is cut down, the roots still hold the soil in place. Howerver, over the course of about three years, the roots of a dead tree become increasingly ineffective at preventing soil erosion.
Black walnut and Butternut trees release the substance juglone that makes the surrounding soil toxic for many plants. The toxic ring in the soil around these trees grows as the root system gets larger. Mature trees can have a toxic ring between 50 and 80 feet wide. Plants, including tomatoes, apple trees and azalea bushes will perish within one to two months of planting them in this zone. Luckily many plants, including melons, Japanese maples and zinnia aren't affected.