Monday, November 29, 2010

follow-up on suspected tree murder

About a month ago, the Ode Street Tribune reported a fresh stump surrounded by a pool of sawdust near the Netherlands Carillon. We asked a local tree expert for a forensic analysis.  His report:
The pictured stump shows no sign of decay, and the wood appears sound.  I can't ascertain by the picture if the tree was truly dead.  The stump had been removed by the time I got over there.

By the way, if there are relatively few or no leaves on a tree it may not be dead but just drought-stressed.  Trees may give up their leaves to conserve moisture when the soil is dry for a prolonged period as a survival strategy.  We had little rain April through June and in August.  However, if a tree has few or no leaves and also has many twigs/branches that are brittle, or next season's buds haven't formed by late autumn, that tree may be dead or close to it.  I'm sure Park Service personnel know how to make these determinations.

As to your second question, it is a fine strategy to leave dead tree trunks standing (snags), so various wildlife forms can utilize them.   In a park setting though, there may be considerations of safety or aesthetics.

There are a few other trees in the park that are in poor shape.  Let's hope the National Park Service will replace trees that are removed whenever possible.
The Ode Street Tribune continues to believe that a tree murder may have occurred.  We suspect some sort of conspiracy.  Use your imagination!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the small city where I live, tree murder is taken very seriously. Recently a developer asked the city what the penalty was for murdering a tree. The builder was obviously making a business cost analysis decision. However, the town outsmarted him. The town obtained a preliminary injunction that forbid him from murdering any trees. I suggest that those who love trees as I do follow our city's example. If you suspect that someone is about to murder a tree, seek a preliminary injunction forbidding the murder. Thus. if the murderer proceeds he faces not only the penalty for murdering the tree, but he also faces the much more sever penalty for violating the injunction.