Sunday, November 30, 2014

Trees and Climate

Do trees help moderate climate?  According to the Arbor Day Foundation, yes.  See the article "How Trees Fight Climate Change".

The Arbor Foundation states "Whether you plant trees around your home and property, in your community, or in our national forests, they help fight climate change. Through the natural process of photosynthesis, trees absorb CO2 and other pollutant particulates, then store the carbon and emit pure oxygen."

If that inspires you, go out and save some trees (like the many mature, beautiful ones at Minto Brown Park, pictured here) and plant more trees!


La Hiedra Inglesa = English Ivy


Hiedra Inglesa
La Hiedra Inglesa es una planta trepadora probablemente introducida a Estados Unidos desde Europa. A pesar del conocimiento generalizado de su naturaleza invasiva, muchos comerciantes siguen vendiendo esta planta ornamental. Esta hiedra es una opción popular entre los jardineros, ya que ofrece una cobertura rápida y se mantiene verde todo el año. Por desgracia, los mismos atributos que atraen a los propietarios de viviendas a la planta también son responsables de la invasión de esta planta. La Hiedra Inglesa forma una cubierta vegetal densa que le bloquea la luz del sol a las plántulas nativas, impidiendo su crecimiento y en última instancia matándolas. Esta hiedra también sube a las plantas y a los árboles; los asfixian en todos los niveles desde el suelo hasta el follaje. También puede infestar los ecosistemas frágiles, tales como marismas, bosques y campos. Además, la Hiedra Inglesa puede albergar bacterias foliares, pudiendo atacar a los árboles nativos, entre ellos los arces, olmos y robles.

English Ivy
English ivy is a vining plant likely introduced to the United States from Europe. Despite widespread knowledge of the invasive nature of English ivy, many retailers continue to sell this ornamental vine. English ivy is a popular choice among gardeners because it offers quick coverage and stays green year-round. Unfortunately, the same attributes that attract homeowners to the plant are also responsible for the invasiveness of the vine. English Ivy forms a dense ground cover that blocks sunlight from native seedlings, preventing growth and ultimately killing the seedlings. The vine also climbs plants and trees, smothering them at all levels of the forest from the floor to the canopy. English Ivy can infest fragile ecosystems, such as salt marshes, as well as forests, fields and woodlands. In addition, English ivy can harbor bacterial leaf scorch, a pathogen that can attack native trees, including maples, elms and oaks.


¿La hiedra inglesa que se enreda en un árbol lo puede matar?

En muchas áreas, la hiedra inglesa no es una especie deseada y debido a que es invasiva, es una amenaza para los árboles y para las plantas cercanas de cualquier tipo. Es increíblemente fuerte y crece rápidamente, por lo que se puede extender para cubrir un árbol y matarlo de varias formas desde su base.

In many areas, English ivy is an undesirable and invasive species because of the threat it poses to trees and to nearby plants of any type. Incredibly hardy and fast-growing, English ivy can quickly spread to cover a tree and begin to kill it from the ground up in a variety of ways.


Peso
Cuando la hiedra inglesa crece lo suficiente como para rodear un árbol entero, le agrega un peso considerable. Dependiendo de la fuerza y la integridad del tronco, esto puede ser un peligro. El peso también lo compromete, especialmente durante los meses de invierno. La hiedra inglesa es una siempre verde, lo que significa que se queda sobre el árbol durante los meses de invierno, que es cuando está más vulnerable porque está hibernando. En estos meses se pueden presentar problemas, como fuertes vientos y nieves pesadas, agregándole aun más estrés al árbol y haciendo que esté más proclive a romperse o caerse.

Weight
When English ivy grows large enough to encircle and cover an entire tree, the vines add a considerable amount of weight to the tree. Depending on the strength and integrity of the trunk, this can present a danger for the tree. The weight of the vine can further compromise the tree, especially during the winter months. English ivy is evergreen, meaning it remains on the tree in its entirety when the tree is at its most vulnerable state of hibernation. The winter months can present problems such as high winds and heavy snows, further adding to the stress on the tree and making it much more likely to break or fall.


Sofocación
Como las cubiertas de las hojas de esta hiedra son tan completas, una rama invasiva le puede tapar a la luz del sol a todas las plantas que crecen debajo. De esta manera le puede quitar la luz a un árbol, especialmente cuando la rama crece lo suficiente como para tapar las hojas del mismo. Este tipo de hiedra prospera en plena luz del sol y tratará naturalmente de alcanzar el lugar de la luz más brillante que pueda encontrar. Lo hace generalmente envolviendo a los troncos de los árboles hasta que llega a sus copas. A medida que trepa, generalmente mata a las hojas que cubre, haciendo que el árbol muera desde el suelo.

Suffocation
Since the leaf cover of the English ivy is so complete, a thorough covering of this invasive vine can prevent sunlight from getting through to any plants growing beneath. This can rob a tree of sunlight, especially when the vine grows large enough to cover branches and the tree's own leaves. English ivy thrives in full sunlight, and will naturally try to reach the brightest light it can find. This is often done by circling its way up the trunks of trees until it reaches the canopy. As the ivy climbs, it often begins to kill the leaves that it covers, resulting in the tree's death from the ground up.


Robo de nutrientes
Las ramas de hiedra inglesa que han trepado por el tronco de un árbol generalmente también se desparraman por el suelo. La estructura de las raíces que se esparcen por el suelo sobre las del árbol toman el agua y los preciosos nutrientes que deberían alimentar al árbol. Las ramas y las hojas que están alrededor de la base y las raíces hacen que el árbol no tenga agua y que la materia decadente de la planta se caiga. Este proceso de decaimiento es vital para que la materia vuelva al suelo, pero una cubierta gruesa de hiedra puede drenar al terreno de sus nutrientes.

Nutrient Theft
Ivy makes it difficult for trees to get water and nutrients.  Ivy makes it difficult for trees to get water and nutrients.

Vines of English ivy that have climbed their way up a tree trunk often spread out along the ground as well. The root structures that take hold in the ground above the tree roots act to draw out water and precious nutrients that would otherwise be used to sustain the tree. Vines and leaves around the base of the tree and roots shield the tree from water and keep decaying plant matter off the ground. This decaying matter is vital to returning nutrients back to the soil, and a thick covering of English ivy can drain the soil of its nutrients in this way.


Como Matar La Hiedra Inglesa
http://www.ehowenespanol.com/hiedra-inglesa-enreda-arbol-matar-info_187365/
http://www.ehow.com/info_8195036_english-circling-tree-kill-tree.html

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Watch for English Ivy seed heads

Ivy Seed Heads, November
Ivy berries are forming now, and ripen through the winter and spring. When the seeds are ripe they fill out and turn purple.

Now is a good time to cut seed heads off and safely dispose of them --- before they mature and are eaten by birds (which then can infest other areas).









Mature Ivy seeds - photo by Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org - See more at: http://www.forestryimages.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=5159061&CFID=6651008&CFTOKEN=9b486e8df77f371e-A73BDAE0-C344-E3B0-52347CB49BA71E69#sthash.qoAv2DEl.dpuf


















Monday, November 10, 2014

Benefits of trees and why we save them from English Ivy

Do you think of trees as having mental, physical, cultural, economic and social benefits as well as the environmental benefits?  Here's a summary of those ideas, from the Sustainable Cities Institute:

Urban trees provide numerous environmental benefits such as mitigating air pollution and greenhouse gases, reducing storm water runoff and improving water quality, and decreasing the urban heat island effect.

Research has shown that trees and green space also have mental, physical, and social benefits.  For example, trees, grass cover, and green space has been shown to create stronger bonds amongst neighbors, reduce violent and property crime, enhance the sense of safety, and promote more adult supervision of children in public spaces.  Studies that have examined children from a range of groups suggest that  green space plays an import role in helping children develop.  For example, one study has shown that interaction with nature reduces Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms.

Economic Benefits

Trees increase property values: The USDA Forest Service has found that mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property's value.

Businesses do better on tree lined streets: A 2004 study found that consumers overwhelmingly preferred business areas with well-planted canopy-covered streets and suggests a link to the amount of time that shoppers are willing to spend in stores.

Trees can reduce heating and cooling costs for buildings: When placed strategically around buildings, trees can reduce cooling costs by 30 percent, and heating costs by 20-50 percent. By providing shade and a barrier to wind, trees cool buildings during hot weather, and limit snow accumulations during cold weather. Economically this is beneficial as it can reduce the fuel costs associated with heating and cooling.

Crime rates tend to be lower in areas with trees: Research presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference (AAAS) in Chicago socio-cultural benefits showed that the presence of trees could cut crime by as much as seven per cent.

Cultural Benefits

Cultural Ecosystem Services is the term used for the nonmaterial benefits for people. While these can be hard to quantify, they are essential for quality of life and overall well-being.

Trees help to define a 'sense of place' and provide desirable landscapes: The aesthetic benefit of trees is obvious. Their size and color can help to soften the often-harsh urban landscape. Perhaps less obvious are the ways in which trees can contribute to the 'sense of place' or unique characteristics that define our geographic communities. Species type, placement, and even long-standing individual trees can underscore regional history, culture, and identity.

Trees and urban forests encourage community interaction: People tend to gather more when green spaces are available.

Trees help to reduce noise pollution by absorbing and blocking urban noise: This has been shown to reduce stress for people living and working around trees.

Habitats created by urban forests provide educational opportunities for people: Urban forests provide opportunities for environmental educational programs for both children and adults. Many schools have "outdoor classrooms" with curricula designed for the natural sciences.

Other Benefits

Tree lined streets can help improve road safety

Some studies have found trees lined streets promote safer driving by giving the impression of narrowing streets. They also provide a buffer between vehicles and pedestrians.

Tree planting can be a very valuable tool for reclaiming derelict land within cities

The management of vacant property is an ongoing problem for many local governments. Even during periods of economic prosperity, when residential and commercial real estate development is high, there often remain neglected lots and other open spaces that place a high demand on code enforcement, solid waste and other municipal services. Planting trees and shrubs can offer a cost-effective way to manage such properties on either a short- or long-term basis.