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Why do some trees have a life span, while some don't?

Why do some trees have a life span, while some don't?


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I have heard that there is no limit on the growth of trees, but then why do some trees, such as boxelders and poplars, tend to live shorter than redwoods, for example? Some advertisements for improved lombardy poplars state that their trees have an extended life span, up to 75 years? The trees with shorter life spans seem to weaken at a certain age, and then contract diseases more easily.


The answer to this could be that there are many factors contributing to the length of the life of tree species.

Climate: You can see that trees that have a reputation of becoming really old live in environments that have low moisture levels and much sunlight over the course of the year.

For example, you can see that the most long-lived trees in America are located in California, where the temperatures are relatively high, while moisture levels are low. If you have one without the other trees don't tend to live that long. Cold climates make growth harder for each individual, yet hot and moist climates tend to help trees grow easier, but also die easier. Think of the amazon. It is one of the richest forests in the world, yet the growth of bacteria and high competition in the areas of the equator make life a lot harder for the longest living and slowest growing species.

As you can see, the vast majority of the longest-living trees are located in California, or other regions of the same latitude! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oldest_trees

Other species and the life around it/Its Ecosystem: Individual trees tend to be less likely to be destroyed by a fire, as they are less likely to catch fire. At some instances, forest trees or dried-out grass can catch fire and pass it on to other individuals. Microbes and bugs found in some parts of the world are known to their abilities to destroy trees!

Current size of the tree: Larger trees are generally less likely to die of causes like drought or damage to their trunks, as they have greatly extensive nets of roots and thick trunks and thus are able to, even partly, recover these incidences.

If a rockfall for example causes damage to one side of the tree, some of the brunches will probably die, but the rest of them, that have their own network to the roots, will probably survive.

This means that luck is involved and if the tree is lucky enough to avoid dying for a certain amount of time, regular fluctuations in the environment do not kill it as they would kill a younger, less robust tree.

Biology of tree species: Debate is held as to whether tree cells have telomeres working the same way as they do in animals. Research published in 2001 suggests that telomeres don't work the same way, as plants developed without telomeres after six generations continue living and growing without problems. But even if they do use telomeres, they may use them in a different way. This is an area where research is still being conducted, though, and you may find controversies in the bibliography! For example in the paper "Analysis of telomere length and telomerase activity in tree species of various life-spans, and with age in the bristlecone pine Pinus longaeva" Barry E. Flanary & Gunther Kletetschka which can be found in the rep

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCgQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.researchgate.net%2Fpublication%2F7709949_Analysis_of_telomere_length_and_telomerase_activity_in_tree_species_of_various_life-spans_and_with_age_in_the_bristlecone_pine_Pinus_longaeva%2Ffile%2F9c96052bcf0a51be49.pdf&ei=zzrCU9OcMIjV0QXmt4CwCQ&usg=AFQjCNH7853fvZ8yneznSfIQQPsxtIDQag&sig2=-PELK5RCQlAGTvQODoyZ2A&bvm=bv.70810081,d.d2k

we can see that sometimes, short lived trees have longer telomeres than long lived ones! (Look in the second paragraph of the section "Results"). This means that actually, nobody really knows!! It may be the telomeres, it may be something else, it may be a combination of factors.

http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2002-04/1019349924.Bt.r.html (notice that this post has links to pages that are no longer available).

Distillation and the most important point: The way that the tree is adapted to its environment determines its longevity in it. Planting an olive tree in the amazon is a great way of making sure it will not survive! Some trees are better at surviving in a certain climate (even if it is at your own garden) simply because they have evolved to live there.

That means that the trees probably don't have a defined lifetime in general, but the life expectancy is defined in each environment, depending on the circumstances!

This means that species we currently think of as short-lived can reach get really old: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11295506

What some companies may have done is try to combine characteristics of individuals through selective breeding - and yes, it works for trees as well!- to match the climate and terrain characteristics found in the certain country or region! Or they may have selected for resistance against the most common pests in your area!

I hope I answered you question adequately!


Everything has a life span. When it comes to trees, there are significant variations between species (see here some examples).

Apart from the external factors, these variations seem to be related to telomeres length and telomerase activity [1]:

The results from this study support the hypothesis that both increased telomere length and telomerase activity may directly/indirectly contribute to the increased life-span and longevity evident in long-lived pine trees (2000-5000 year life-spans) compared to medium-lived (400-500 year life-span) and short-lived (100-200 year life-span) pine trees, as well as in P. longaeva with age.

Also, the lower metabolic rate of some trees increases life span [2]:

… the extremely high longevity of trees may be explained by the lower metabolism displayed by the stems. These results clearly reflect different energy allocation and energy expenditure rate strategies between leaves and stems, which may result in different senescence rates (and life spans) in these organs. They also suggest that, in contrast to animals, the ROL (rate of living ) theory of aging may apply to woody plants at the organ level, thereby opening a promising new line of research to guide future studies on plant senescence.

Leaf longevity is also correlated to shoot growth [3]:

These results suggest that leaf longevity is greater on shoots with low annual growth potential. Thus, a slow-growing tree at high elevation (low annual shoot growth potential) can have the same amount of foliage per shoot as a fast-growing tree at lower elevation.


References:

  1. Flanary BE, Kletetschka G. Analysis of telomere length and telomerase activity in tree species of various life-spans, and with age in the bristlecone pine Pinus longaeva. Biogerontology. 2005;6(2):101-11. doi: 10.1007/s10522-005-3484-4. PubMed PMID: 16034678.
  2. Issartel J, Coiffard C. Extreme longevity in trees: live slow, die old? Oecologia. 2011 Jan;165(1):1-5. doi: 10.1007/s00442-010-1807-x. PubMed PMID: 20963610.
  3. Schoettle AW. The interaction between leaf longevity and shoot growth and foliar biomass per shoot in Pinus contorta at two elevations. Tree Physiol. 1990 Dec;7(1_2_3_4):209-214. PubMed PMID: 14972918.

Although most plants can potentially reproduce sexually, there are some plants that effectively always reproduce by shedding off branches which, when they fall in the right conditions, grow into new 'clones' of the same tree, which the exact genetic material. In these cases, it is advantageous for the tree to be able to survive as long as possible. Plants that reproduce sexually by the cross of two different individuals have a recombined genetic material in every generation, and the survival of that plant with that new genome is usually shorter.


American Robin Life History

American Robins are common birds across the continent. You’ll find them on lawns, fields, and city parks, as well as in more wild places like woodlands, forests, mountains up to near treeline, recently burned forests, and tundra. During winter many robins move to moist woods where berry-producing trees and shrubs are common.Back to top

American Robins eat large numbers of both invertebrates and fruit. Particularly in spring and summer they eat large numbers of earthworms as well as insects and some snails. (They have rarely been recorded eating shrews, small snakes, and aquatic insects.) Robins also eat an enormous variety of fruits, including chokecherries, hawthorn, dogwood, and sumac fruits, and juniper berries. One study suggested that robins may try to round out their diet by selectively eating fruits that have bugs in them.Back to top


Why do some trees have a life span, while some don't? - Biology

Life Cycle
Q&A about Bald Eagles with Peter Nye
New York Department of Environmental Conservation


Q. How long does the bald eagle live?
A. Typically in the wild probably between 20-30 years. Some eagles in captivity have lived up to 50 years, but in the wild they would not live as long.

Q. How do you determine a bald eagle's age?
A. By plumage until they are 5 years old, then after that you cannot age them.

Q. Does the bald eagle mate with different kinds of eagles?
A. No.

Q. Do bald eagles have only one mate for life?
A. Typically, yes, although occasionally an intruding adult (not one of the pair) comes in (usually a female) and battles the resident bird for the territory, sometimes then taking over. If one of the pair dies, the other will find a new mate and usually keep going in the same territory.

Q: Do eagles push their young out of the nest to encourage them to fly?
A: No! The adults may withhold food as the eaglets get near fledging, and encourage them to fly to a nearby perch to get their meal, but that's about it. Usually, no coaxing is necessary and the eaglets are all too anxious to test their wings!

Q. If an eaglet falls, will a parent fly below the nest to catch it and carry it back to the nest?
A: No!

Q. Do bald eagles build their nests in low trees?
A. No, nor do they prefer to. Given the option, eagles will choose a "super-canopy" (one rising above the rest) tree with sturdy limbs and a commanding view of the surrounding terrain, which is also always very near to water. Typical nest heights are 50-125 feet high.

Q. How tall do trees have to be for a Bald Eagle to nest in?
A. The higher the better!

Q. Why do bald eagles have such big nests if they only have two eggs?
A. They are large birds and their young become quite large, demanding of lots of space to fit all the birds and their 6 foot plus wings.

Q. About how long does it take for the bald eagle's eggs to hatch and how long until it can fly?
A. It takes 35 days to hatch. The young remain in the nest for another 10-12 weeks until they fledge (fly from the nest.)

Q. How old are they before young eagles can fly?
A. At 10-12 weeks, when they leave their nest.

Q. When do eagles learn to fly and how?
A. At between 10-12 weeks as they first leave the nest (fledge), and then with more and more practice to and from the nest and surrounding trees over the next month or two.

Q. How old does a baby have to be to leave its mother?
A. 10-12 weeks to leave the nest, although fledglings then often stay around "learning from their parents and honing their flying and feeding skills for another 1-2 months.

Q. How long does it take the eaglet's feathers to turn brown?
A. The feathers are brown as soon as they start to appear, which happens starting at 5 weeks of age they are pretty well fully feathered by 9 weeks.

Q. How do eagles find their old nest?
A. Since the nests are so large, it's probably pretty easy, especially if they haven't gone too far! I suspect though, that you are asking about birds that migrate long distances to and from their nests. In that case, since eagles are diurnal (daytime) fliers, we believe they use familiar landmarks to guide them to the general area, and once there, use more familiar and specific cues to find their particular lake and then the nest tree. Such cues as extensive mountain ranges or large water bodies or the coastline might first be used. These birds obviously "store" great amounts of information or "memory" of the landscapes in their lives, as they easily move 50 - 100 miles in a winter day in search of food.

Q. Out of twenty eaglets, how many will live to be adults?
A. This varies with the population in question. From our work releasing eagles in New York, about 2.5 adults would survive for every 20 (1 in 8). Mortality is highest for eagles in their first year of life, especially their first six months. The first winter is crucial. Some biologists (two studies) have estimated mortality as high as 72 % within one year of fledging (leaving the nest). Another study estimated that only 11 % of eagles were alive after 3 years of life. In general, we believe that only about 1 in 10 eagles survive to adulthood (5 yrs of age).

Q. How many eggs does an average bald eagle lay in a lifetime?
A. The average bald eagle clutch size is just under 2 eggs/clutch (1.9). If we assume that a female eagle begins nesting at age 5, and lives until she is 25, she will have 20 years of egg-laying. There is no evidence that a healthy eagle reduces egg-laying as she gets older. So 2 eggs/year X 20 years = 40 eggs in her lifetime.

Q. Why are eagle nests so large for their body size?
A. Actually, eagles' nests are just about right for their body size. Most nests are about 6 feet across at the top, and with two adult eagles and one, two, or sometimes three young in the nest, it can get pretty crowded. Especially when you consider that as the nestlings approach fledging age, their wing span is six feet or more, taking up most of the nest. Nests can get very deep (one was recorded in Florida that was 22 feet deep!), because most pairs add sticks to the same nest each year, and use them for many years.

Q: Do eagles carry their young under any circumstances? There are legends about eagles like carrying their young on top of their wings, but I could not find an answer. One source states that eaglets are NOT carried, that they remain in the nest until they are 12-13 weeks old and ready for flight.
A: I have heard of this legend many times, and have been told there is some citation in this regard in the bible. However, I have never heard of this, and firmly doubt it. The reality of the biology is, eaglets indeed spend 10-12 weeks on their nest, do all of their own flight training, and fledge from the nest on their own, gradually gaining strength and honing their flight skills over the next month or two.

Q: What does the female eagle do when she gets older? I heard that she plucks all of her feathers out and she makes her beak fall off, then grows another and new feathers, and becomes more beautiful than she was before.
A: That is definitely not true. What is true, is that each year all eagles, regardless of their age or sex, molt (lose) and replace their feathers, so they do indeed get new, strong ones. It has nothing to do with age.

Q: Are eagles courting when they interlock talons and soar through the air?
A: With wildlife, it is often hard to determine reasons behind behaviors we may observe. Talon-grappling and tumbling are frequently observed behaviors seen between all combinations of eagles. Meaning, between mated adults, un-paired adults, adult and immatures, immatures with immatures, etc. These are also likely "unions" of any-sex combination of birds. That variety of participants, tells me right away there is no one answer to what this behavior is for, but rather, that it happens for a variety of reasons. Three come to my mind immediately pair-bonding, aggression, and play. So, yes, I believe paired adults do it as a "courting"/bonding activity. We also know from observations that these represent very aggressive encounters, where sometimes, one or both of the participants are killed (sometimes they cannot "un-lock" and crash to the ground together. The most often I see this, is with and between immatures, and I'm convinced it is both play and learning (flight capability). I do believe that eagles get enjoyment out of certain activities, which could be called play, such as when they chase each other in flight, tumble, roll, etc. As with humans, I think immature bald eagles are more prone to "play" than adult birds, who always seem to have something deliberate to do.

Q: How long can an eagle live? How long do they usually live?
A: That depends on what might happen to it! Unfortunately, many eagles don't live out the length of the life they are biologically capable of, due to a variety of factors. Contaminants, shooting, traps, cars, trains, wires (electrocution), collisions, and even other eagles, can cut an eagle's life short. Barring any of these events, an eagle is capable of living for 30 or more years. We captured an eagle in 2001 that we had banded in 1976, a female who was still breeding. Eagles held in captivity undoubtedly live longer than those in the wild, since they don't have the stresses that eagles in the wild face (such as finding food everyday and defending their territory. Two reports exist of captive eagles living 47 years.

Q: How long do the young stay with their parents after fledgling?
A: Depends on how "independent" they feel! Some youngsters "bust-out" quickly, thinking they are fully capable of being on their own. In many cases, they pay for this with their lives during their first fall and winter. On average, I'd say they spend 4-12 weeks in the nesting territory post-fledging, the time during which they learn to hunt and fly.

Q: Do young eagles learn to hunt from their parents or are their skills innate
A: An excellent question. Young eagles from wild nests develop their hunting skills on their own, but spend considerable time after they fledge watching their parents and undoubtedly learning by watching what the adults do. The actual skills involved are learned by trial and error, I'm sure. Much of the hunting skill (or at least the drive to hunt) is innate, as our hacked eagles were fledged into an environment without adults around to "teach" or "show" these young birds. Yet, these birds, again through trial and error, learned to hunt for themselves and survive. We felt it was important to continue to provide food at our hacking towers after the eaglets fledged, to give them a source of food for as long as they needed it. Eventually, each eagle at it's own pace, these young birds stopped using our offerings and began foraging on their own. Similarly in the wild, the adult parents will continue to provide food for some time after fledging, while the newly flighted birds hone not only their hunting skills, but there flying skills. On average, I would say it takes about 4-12 weeks for young eagles to start hunting successfully. True, fully refined, specialized hunting skills, probably take years to develop.

Q: In the wild, how long can Bald Eagles bare young?
A: The life span of eagles in the wild is generally around 30 years. Actually, little is known about the reproductive life of eagles as they age, due to the lack of known-age/banded birds and intensive observations of same. I can tell you that we captured one of our local breeders at her age 25 years, and she went on to breed and raise young successfully in her 26th year. It is my opinion that eagles are probably productive until they die. It would be mal-adaptive for adult eagles to remain in the population as non-contributing members. More often, I believe what happens is the aging/unproductive bird is actually killed and replaced by a younger, more productive and fit adult.

Q: We know that dog life spans are 7 years to 1 human's life span, so what is the eagle's life span to a human's span?
A: To answer that we have to explain how long eagles can live.
In captivity (a more coddled life. ), bald eagles have lived well into their 40's. But in the wild, their life is undoubtedly much shorter, either cut short by human beings, by other eagles, or by the rigors of their life. In the wild, we believe eagles live around 30 years. Therefore, I guess you'd say an eagles life is about 2.5 to each human year, based on our current average life expectancy.

Q. What is the average lifetime of a bald eagle?
A. Most of what we know about how long eagles live is from birds kept in captivity. These birds may live 40 years or longer. Information from a few wild, banded eagles shows that they may live to be 30 or a little older in the wild. I suspect that a 25 year-old bald eagle in the wild is old, and a 30 year old eagle is very old.

Q: Do the golden eagle babies look different from the bald eagle babies?
A: Yet another great question from Ferrisburg!
Yes, golden eaglets look different than bald eaglets. When first hatched and as young nestlings (before feather growth starting at about 4 wks of age), golden eaglets are mostly white. Bald eaglets are much darker gray. Also, golden eaglets have a very noticeable yellow "cere" at the base of their bills, all through their nestling stage. Bald eagles do not balds are uniformly dark. As golden eaglets age, they maintain a much lighter, whiter head than bald eagle nestlings. As they age they attain their very distinctive "golden" nape from which their name derives and which is the most obvious difference in older age eaglets. Check out some photos of both on the net and see for yourself!

Q: We had a pair of eagles with a nest in a large tree near the Missouri river near Nebraska City. This winter the tree went down and we're worried that the pair won't nest here again. We've seen an eagle on the ponds nearby standing on the ice eating something. Will "our" eagles still nest here or will they move on?
A: Sorry to hear "your" nest tree blew down a not uncommon occurrence!
Not to worry. Eagles are very faithful to their nesting "territory", not necessarily to the actual "tree". I don't know how long the eagles have been nesting there, but I would fully expect them to build a new nest not too far away. This could be up to a mile, rarely further, but I'd suspect even closer, all other conditions (like food) being equal. Watch for them carrying sticks off in a certain direction.

Q. How long do eagles stay on nesting grounds after they migrate in spring?
A. It all depends on what latitude they breed at. Eagles migrating to and breeding at northern latitudes (i.e., Yukon Territory) probably stay a shorter period of time, and have a shorter nesting season than those at southern latitudes (i.e., California). That is because of the shorter season in the northern areas. The water stays frozen later into the spring, and fall comes earlier there.

If they are going to nest successfully, there a few things eagles have to do wherever they nest:

  • Build or refurbish their nest (may take only a day, but we'll say 1 week, 7 days)
  • Incubate eggs (35 days),
  • Raise young to independence (perhaps 120 days).

Adding these numbers up comes out to 162 days or a minimum of about 5 1/2 months on the breeding area. More typically, in temperate areas such as Washington state, the adults will remain on their territories at least 9 months of the year before fall migration.

Q: Could it be possible that a twig I saw an eagle break from a branch could be used for building a nest? After observing a bald eagle perched in a tree along a river for over 20 minutes, I observed it fly to a tree 10 yards away and break off a branch in its talons and fly off. This occurred in Iowa in early February. Two eagles have been seen in this area throughout the winter.
A: Absolutely it could! I assume the eagle you observed was an adult. Immatures may occasionally do this for play or practice, but it is typical behavior for adults prior to and during nesting. What you saw could be a local breeder getting its nest "ready" for the breeding season (here in NY we have some pairs who begin decorating their nests in early February, and I'd bet Iowa would too), or, it could have been a wintering bird just fooling around and "feeling its oats" in anticipation for migration and nesting back up north. Very rarely, some wintering birds will actually build a nest on their wintering grounds during the winter season, even though they have no intention of staying and using it (they just might be very stimulated breeders!) we have seen this in NY, and the pair return to their "winter" nest and decorate it and sit in it each winter, before leaving for their "real" nest somewhere up north in late March. The fascinating thing to me about what you describe, and which I've also seen, is how the heck the eagle "knows" that the stick they fly at and hit in mid-flight will give way! It's got to be a good decision between flying force at the stick to break it off versus not sort of flying yourself into a brick wall so-to-speak! How do they know ahead of time the stick they've "chosen" will break off ?? (that's a rhetorical question, not a challenge one!). Anyway, that is a neat thing to observe! I would look for a nest in the vicinity!

Q: Do they reach a point like humans where they cannot bear young?
For 3 years I have observed a nesting pair of Bald Eagles near my home. The pair has been nesting for 15 years in the same location. Last year the male crushed one egg in mid air. The other made it to a first flight only, never to be seen after a few days. It stayed in a tree near the nest, but then died. The pair is currently nesting. She laid the eggs on 2/28.
A: I'm curious to know where you live! Judging by the February 28th egg date, you must be in PA or south NJ? The mid-air egg-crushing you mention is quite strange and begs another question. Did this pair raise/fledge any young the same year? I think, you are saying one young was fledged. Often, one of the adults will remove egg-shells from the nest after hatching could you simply have seen egg-shells being "cleaned" out of the nest and dropped? Adults will also sometimes remove whole eggs that don't hatch, fly from the nest with them and drop them (they will also simply eat them in the nest). I have never heard of anyone witnessing "crushing" of an egg in mid-air. Perhaps it was one of these normal behaviors you witnessed. I have no idea what could have happened to the fledgling. Again, after fledging, juveniles will often perch along the shore away from the nest for a long time, in hard to observe places. Were both adults present at the nest the whole season?

Peter E. Nye
New York State Dept. Environmental Conservation
Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources
Albany, NY


Trees That Don’t Drip Sap

Since all trees produce sap, every species of tree is susceptible to sap leakage. However, certain trees are more resistant to sap-inducing diseases and pests, and planting these types of trees will help reduce the chance of sap-related problems.

Growing in Sunset zones 1 through 12 and 14 through 21, the English oak (Quercus robur) is a hardy tree that generally does not produce an abundance of sap and is resistant to many pests and diseases, including the fungus that causes Verticillium wilt.

The Japanese snowdrop (Styrax japonicus) tree reaches up to 25 feet and produces fragrant blooms. This practically pest-free tree is native to Japan, Korea and China, and can grow in Sunset zones 3 through 10 and 14 through 21.


6 Trees You Should Never, Ever Plant

Fall is the best time of the year to plant a tree, but look before you leap. Some trees are nice. Others are monsters. Here are six monsters you should never, ever plant in a residential neighborhood, lest you earn your neighbor&aposs hatred and Grumpy&aposs scorn.

Terrible Tree #1 -- Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) What&aposs wrong with it: Weedy, short-lived, insect- and disease-prone, invasive roots, unattractive most of the year.

Comment: Yes, I know. You grew up with mimosas in the yard (sniff), they remind you of Meemaw&aposs garden (sniff, sniff), and they&aposre so pretty when their fluffy pink flowers open in early summer. But let&aposs get real. The flowers last about two weeks. Then they&aposre replaced by scads of these large, ugly, brown seed pods that hang there until the next spring. So for two weeks of beauty you get 50 weeks of gross. Plus, seedlings from your tree will sprout in everyone&aposs yard within a quarter-mile.

Terrible Tree #2 -- White Mulberry (Morus alba)

What&aposs wrong with it: Weedy, extremely messy, insect-prone, aggressive surface roots crack pavement, male trees produce prodigious amounts of pollen that cause allergies.

Comment: Yes, I know. You grew up with a mulberry in the yard and you loved eating the insipid sweet fruit with Meemaw in summer (sniff). What you&aposre forgetting is that birds love its berries above all other foods and will gorge themselves. The fruit works on them just like a colonoscopy prep, so they enthusiastically splatter anything near a tree -- car, sidewalk, porch, an unlucky Jehovah&aposs Witness -- with seedy, purple mulberry poop. This is one crappy tree.

Terrible Tree #3 -- Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

What&aposs wrong with it: Weedy, messy, subject to an astonishing array of insects and diseases.

Comment: People grow this shade tree when they can&apost grow anything else. It takes drought, heat, poor soil, air pollution, and wind. That makes it OK for shading The Little House on the Prairie, but not your house in the burbs. Hackberry is easy to recognize by its silvery-gray bark encrusted with warty ridges. Small, blue-black fruits favored by birds spread seedlings all over. The worst thing about hackberry is that woolly aphids feeding on the leaves drip sticky honeydew. Sooty mold grows on the honeydew, blackening absolutely everything under the tree. Hack it down now.

Terrible Tree #4 -- Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)

What&aposs wrong with it: Extremely messy, very weedy, breaks up in storms, short-lived, very prone to insects and diseases, roots crack pavement and invade water lines.

Comment: As with hackberry, most people saddled with this garbage tree live with it because no other trees will grow there. I can&apost think of a messier tree. In addition to the sticks, twigs, broken branches, and leaves that shower down almost every day, it also blankets the yard around it in early summer with cottony seeds -- hence, the name "cottonwood." The cotton rolls up into lumpy pillows of foam that roll across the ground and pile up against houses, walls, fences, and immobile Congressmen (Is there any other kind?) The only good use for this nasty tree is as firewood. Burn one today!

Terrible Tree #5 -- Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)

What&aposs wrong with it: Weedy, breaks up in storms, roots crack pavement and invade water lines.

Comment: Folks plant silver maple for one reason -- they want quick shade. It grows fast, upwards of three feet a year, eventually reaching 70 feet tall. But you pay a steep price for that shade. Its roots are infamous for clogging water lines and breaking sidewalks. Its weak branches fall in storms. And look at all the seeds it drops in one season, each destined to become a baby silver maple! Found in practically every state from Florida to the Canadian border, it proves the fallacy that "native plants are always better." Let&aposs send this native packing.

Terrible Tree #6 -- Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana &aposBradford&apos)

What&aposs wrong with it: Its flowers stink like tuna on a trunk, thorny seedlings sprout everywhere, and its suicidal branching structure makes it explode in storms.

Comment: Finally -- finally! -- more people are cutting down Bradford pears than planting them. Given the trees&apos short life spans, they&aposll hopefully disappear from the suburbs within a decade or two. But the damage has been done. Cross-pollination with other selections of callery pear has resulted in impenetrable thickets of brutally thorny seedlings that clog roadsides, fields, and fence rows. How low should you prune a Bradford pear? As low as you can saw.

Are there trees you despise more than these? Please comment and let Grumpy and the whole world know!


Poplar Tree Care

Whether you are planting hybrid poplar trees or one of the popular varieties, you’ll find that poplar tree care is easy in the proper location. Poplars need fertile soil, acidic or neutral, as well as direct sun and sufficient water to keep their roots moist.

One of the most important poplar tree facts is the sheer size of the tree. It rises to between 50 and 165 feet (15-50 m.) high with a trunk diameter of up to 8 feet (2 m.). You must be sure that your tree will have sufficient room to grow to its full size.


Facts About Mesquite Tree

Being a drought-tolerant tree, mesquite grows in arid and semi-arid regions where many trees are unable to grow. One of the main uses of mesquite tree is that it provides shade to wildlife and its fruit serves as a source of food for birds, animals, as well as humans. Here are some interesting facts about this tree:

✦ There is a 32 feet tall mesquite tree in Bahrain that is believed to be 400 years old. Known as the ‘Tree of Life’, the tree attracts tourists from all over the world.

Mesquite ‘Tree of Life’ in Bahrain

✦ The biggest mesquite tree in Texas is about 56 feet in height, with a crown of 87 feet, and circumference of trunk being 6 feet.

✦ One of the major uses of this tree is that it is a nitrogen-fixing tree, which means that it restores nitrogen in the soil. The improved fertility is the reason why some grasses grow very well under these trees.

✦ Nectar from mesquite tree is also known to yield a good-quality honey.

✦ The wood is still used for making carvings, panels, furniture, and parquet floors. Its brown and gold color and swirling grain makes it the perfect type of wood for making furniture with a rustic appeal. Its bark is used for roofing in some regions.

✦ Being a tree that survives well in arid regions, mesquite is a good option for xeriscaped gardens. Its seeds and blooms will attract bees, while the tree can be a nesting site for birds.

✦ Various parts of the tree were used by the Native Americans. The tree bears thorns that are about 3 inches long, which were used by the Native Americans to make needles. The inner bark was used for making fabrics, while its wood was used for making bows and arrows for hunting.

✦ Native Americans used the bean pods of this tree for food. The pods were ground to make flour, which in turn was used for making dishes. The pods were also used for making a therapeutic tea.

✦ The tree’s wood is a good firewood choice as it burns very slowly. It was, and still is, used as a building material due to its durability.

✦ Mesquites were used by Native Americans for treating certain ailments. They were aware of the therapeutic nature of the tree’s root, bark, leaves, and gum. They used a herbal infusion made from the root or bark to treat diarrhea.

✦ They also mixed the gum in water to make a herbal infusion, which was used for treating eye infections. Mesquite gum was also used for treating sore throat and gastrointestinal problems.

✦ They crushed mesquite leaves and mixed them with water. This was used as a remedy for headaches.


Everything You Need to Know About Tree Shoots in Lawn

Why do shoots grow at the base of trees? Are some trees more prone to that?

Tchukki Andersen, a board-certified master arborist and staff arborist at the Tree Care Industry Association, details why this happens.

“Many tree species have latent buds beneath their bark. When a tree becomes stressed–say because the tree was damaged by a storm–those latent buds begin to grow. Essentially, the tree is trying to regenerate itself,” Andersen explains.

Ash trees start sprouting if it’s infested with emerald ash borer, while honey locusts are infamous for growing suckers all over the lawn. Andersen says, “Oaks, maples, cottonwoods, poplars–pretty much any hardwood tree–will begin to sprout if under stress.”

“To the tree, those shoots are a method to endure damage. To humans, they can be a nuisance,” Andersen adds.

There is good news, though. Trees that have sufficient sunlight, water and nutrition are less likely to sprout.

I have tree shoots all over the yard. How can I remove those tree seedlings or water sprouts?

Emily Renshaw, a certified arborist and the credential maintenance coordinator at the International Society of Arboriculture, answers this.

“It can be time-consuming, but I’ve found cutting the sprouts with a good pair of hand pruners looks and works the best. Be sure to cut those sprouts down as low as you can,” Renshaw advises. “Plus, hand pruning is relatively easy if the sprouts are still small.”

Prune and remove shoots as you see them grow to keep the situation manageable. If you leave them, those seedlings can grow into individual trees or try to take over the grass entirely.

How can I stop tree roots from sprouting – especially in the lawn?

A certified arborist and an assistant district manager at the Davey Tree, office in Chicago, Illinois, handles this common question.

“Really, the best thing you can do is cut the suckers as Emily mentioned, and keep your tree healthy. Sucker growth is genetically what trees do when they become stressed, which makes it tough to effectively control,” he says.

Some people try sucker stopper products. “It’s really tricky. You need to use it very carefully. Follow the label precisely, just like if you were taking medication,” the arborist explains. “If you use too much, the product becomes dangerous. You can burn the tree, see its health decline or could even kill it.”

Instead, a local arborist may safely be able to apply a growth inhibitor to stop the tree shoots.

If you DIY with a sucker stopper product, monitor your tree for the next few days. If you see distorted or brown leaves, you likely applied too much and should flush the system, like you would to remove winter salt.

“Constantly removing tree suckers can become overwhelming from a mental standpoint,” he notes. “But remember: there’s no such thing as a perfect tree. Always do your research before planting, and ask an arborist before you plant a new tree. We think about these types of issues, so you don’t have to.”


Variants of the Dogwood

Cornus refers to a specific genus, and within the genus are over 50 species of the commonly known Dogwood. These species are divided into four subgenera, or sub-genus species. These sets are determined by distinguishing characteristics of the flowers and bracts[1]. The four main subcategories are:

Flowering Dogwoods (Benthamidia)
Bunchberries or Dwarf cornels (Chamaepericlymenum)
Cornels (Cornus)
Dogwoods (Swida)

Choosing the right Dogwood for your property means considering what your location has to offer and for what you are looking. A symbiotic relationship, where both your Dogwood benefits from necessary water, sun, and nutrient supplies and you benefit from the best height, shade, and beauty of the Dogwood, is in everybody’s interests.

Noteworthy Tips on the Dogwood

– Dogwoods do not usually require a great deal of fertilization skimp on the mulch and meter out the water!

– The name Dogwood comes from the word “dog-tree”, which was introduced into English in 1548.

– Dogwood is also thought to derive from “dagwood”, which would involve using the tree’s thin twigs for creating daggers.

– Chaucer used the term “whippletree” to refer to the Dogwood, which is the name for the piece of wood connecting the horse’s harness to the drag pole of a cart.

– Dogwoods have been used medicinally for generations the bark is rich in tannins, so ground bark or leaves are used to treat pain, fevers, backaches, dizziness, weakness, excessive sweating, uterine bleeding, and incontinence.

[1] Bract – a specialized leaf, usually associated with the reproductive actions of the plant. These “leaves” often sit below the flower or on smaller stems.


How to Trim a Cottonwood Tree

If you already have a cottonwood tree in the landscape, pruning may be necessary to control its growth. The best time to prune cottonwoods is late winter while the tree is dormant. Prune for proper growth while the tree is a young sapling. Its rapid growth soon puts the branches out of reach.

Always use clean pruners when pruning cottonwoods. The tree is prone to disease, and dirty tools can introduce bacteria, fungal spores, and insect eggs into the pruning wound. Wipe them down with a cloth saturated with alcohol or a disinfectant cleaner, or dip them in boiling water.

Begin by removing all the branches from the lower one-third of the tree. Using long-handled pruners, make the cuts close to the trunk, cutting at an angle that slants down and away from the tree. Leave stubs of about one-quarter inch. (2 cm.)

Next, remove branches that cross each other and may rub together in the winds. Due to their soft wood, cottonwood branches can develop significant wounds that provide entry points for disease from rubbing.


Watch the video: Τo μέλλον τώρα. (May 2022).