Tree Die-Offs ‘On A Grand Scale’

September 20, 2016

15073-trees_newsOvercast and gray again this early Tuesday on California’s north coast, though, there was some sun near day-break, but way-gone now.
Rainfall last month appeared near-normal, according to the NWS, which wasn’t much, but winter is quickly approaching as the service also released freeze/frost dates for the fall.
This year is blazing by…

Also going in a flash, California’s forests. Climate change inducements are killing trees in a big way — from KQED last month: ‘In many communities of the central and southern Sierra Nevada range, “80 percent of trees are dead,” said Ken Pimlott, the state’s top forester as director of Cal Fire, the state forestry and fire-protection agency. “There will be no conifers [there] when this is done.”

Of course, ‘this‘ won’t end unless drastic measures are taken — fueled by drought, chewed alive by invading insects and creepy-organisms, 66 million pines, other conifers, and more than 5 million oak trees and tanoaks, are already gone…

(Illustration: ‘Dying Cedar,’ by Anne W. Brigman, found here).

Up here in Humboldt County, we’re just about all trees — ‘civilized society’ in bulk exists only on a way-small strip of flat land/cliffs and rocks way-near the Pacific Ocean, with a goodly chunk of that ground below sea level.
We’re faced intensely with what’s the called, Sudden Oak Death, and a study earlier this year revealed not much was really being done to combat the pathogen.
Not unlike climate change itself — do we have to get more obvious?

Forests are losing tens of millions of trees at an incredible pace, much of it driven by climate change.
Via the Guardian yesterday:

Forestry officials and scientists are increasingly alarmed, and say the essential role of trees — providing clean water, locking up carbon and sheltering whole ecosystems — is being undermined on a grand scale.
California and mountain states have suffered particularly big die-offs in recent years, with 66m trees killed in the Sierra Nevada alone since 2010, according to the Forestry Service.
In northern California, an invasive pathogen called Sudden Oak Death is infecting hundreds of different plants, from redwoods and ferns to backyard oaks and bay laurels.
The disease is distantly related to the cause of the 19th-century Irish potato famine, and appears to have arrived with two “Typhoid Marys”, rhododendrons and bay laurels, said Dr David Rizzo, of the University of California, Davis.
“We’re talking millions of trees killed, whole mountain sides dying,” Rizzo said.

Beyond California, all over — “insect eruptions” are striking hard at forests nationwide.
Diana Six, an entomologist at the University of Montana: ‘“There’s virtually nothing you can do to stop the beetles, either, unless they’ve killed everything and run out of food,” Six said. “Or unless the climate cools, and I don’t think anyones expecting that anytime soon.”

Whichever comes first…

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