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FOLLOWING PUBLICATION OF EACH ISSUE of the Ontario Arborist magazine, we load copies of our most popular columns and features here in our article bank. In addition to being an invaluable source of information, the online versions contain an added benefit not possible in the magazine – live links. So remember, if you read an article in print and want to visit a link but don't want to type in a long address, simply find the article here and click away. One caveat: articles date back almost 10 years so some of the links referenced in earlier publications may no longer be valid. We do our best to keep them current or remove outdated links but the web changes daily!
Emergency Preparedness (EP) and Aerial Rescue (AR) could be considered the practical insurance component of production tree work – you do all the paperwork hoping you’ll never need it, and if you do, you hope that what you have in place is comprehensive, efficient and sufficient. If you, like myself, consider an accident an unplanned event than it makes sense that increased planning will decrease the opportunity for accidents to occur. To me that is the whole justification for EP and AR.
Each October, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) hosts the Annual Forest Health Review in Orillia. Foresters and forest researchers come together to hear about forest health issues and to network. It is always time well spent and a lot of the information relates to the arboriculture industry. A team of Forest Health Technicians collect data and observations throughout the growing season and this information is reported to help everyone better understand, and hopefully manage, these issues. Here’s a synopsis of some of the key findings.
Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) teamed up with the University of Guelph Arboretum and Fanshawe College to undertake the first known experiment of its kind – propagating Ontario’s pure red mulberry (Morus rubra) trees. We are happy to report that in the first year of this project, we met our main objective and have identified successful means of propagating pure red mulberry by overcoming the issues of hybridization with white mulberry (Morus alba). With support from the Canadian Tree Fund, we were able to acquire new equipment and also support for the interns and students who were crucial to this project’s success.
It’s pretty much a given that the lives of tree care workers and arboricultural consultants got a lot more interesting when municipalities began drafting and passing tree protection bylaws. In many communities, like Kingston, the creation of such a bylaw was a knee-jerk reaction by a town council that suddenly found itself inundated with complaints from concerned citizens about large-scale tree destruction in connection with some development project. Nowadays, in acknowledgement of the significant contribution of trees to our collective good, many of Ontario’s larger urban centres have some sort of tree protection bylaw. Some have had theirs long enough that they are now in the process of revisiting and tweaking the first version of their bylaw. Others, like Cambridge, are in the process of drafting that first iteration.
If you’ve ever seen emerald ash borer or bronze birch borer larval galleries, the hair on the back of your neck would be standing up when you looked at these poplar logs. Read on to discover the source. Then move on from beetles to micronutrients as Jen covers the role manganese plays in resisting disease and soil chemistry. It’s tricky science any time you experiment with supplementation...
There are forests of information now available on the so-called elusive emerald ash borer. And every hamlet, town and city in Ontario is eventually going to have to deal with the invasive. So here’s a cheat sheet to help you do your job better. If we’ve forgotten any key elements (or combat strategies), please let us know.
New projects don’t often arise in arboriculture; techniques change, but the end results remain the same. In 2011, Shady Lane Expert Tree Care had the opportunity to do something new – bare root transplant large trees at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto. The scope of the project was complicated. Here were our tasks: 1) relocate 15 trees (bare root) from within the park setting to a temporary hoarding zone before any negative impact was incurred via construction; 2) hold these trees in a pea gravel medium for 18 months using water and compost tea to keep them healthy; and 3) replant the trees using silva cells to maximize the newly developed root size. Editor’s Note: Jon first presented this project at our February Conference in Kingston.
As summer and the busy season is upon us, I will discuss issues and injuries that can arise from the constant stress and strain of working in the arboriculture industry as well as some proactive ways to reduce and alleviate these issues. Although it isn’t uncommon for climbers and arborists to have their fair share of bumps and bruises, there is now an upsurge in awareness regarding injuries and conditions that can compound and build over time. The blanket term for these injuries is work-related musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs.
As I write this month’s column, the high forecasted for today is 33 C and the humidex rating is over 42 C. I don’t have air conditioning at home and I am seriously considering sleeping on the floor of my office tonight. We have had a tremendous amount of heat since very early spring and you have probably noticed that plant and insect development is 2-3 weeks in advance of normal. On top of that, there has been a serious lack of rainfall in several key agricultural areas of southern Ontario...
This spring, high temperature records were shattered across the province. The people I spoke to enjoyed the unseasonable warmth, but every conversation ultimately led to climate change, global warming and fear. “This is not good,” was the general response.
According to the report "Potential to Use Biomass for Bio-Energy in Ontario," by the University of Guelph, tree residues from roadside tree removal in the province amounted to nearly 1.5 million tons in 2007. Assuming that 25% of the residue is in the form of usable sawlogs, and the lumber yields an average of 200 board feet per ton, the potential for salvaged lumber in Ontario alone amounts to 75,000,000 board feet. At an average value of $.50 per board foot for rough sawn lumber (hardwood and softwood combined), the potential value is $37.5 million dollars. The tree care industry has a remarkable opportunity to profit from wood waste by incorporating a small sawmill into the business.
Somewhere in the workplace today a worker is not using a seat belt; is talking on a hand held device while driving or; is not wearing all appropriate safety wear. Each example has accountability if the worker is caught by a governing authority. Failing to properly train workplace supervisors has the same accountability. Today’s workplaces are obligated to clearly define and evaluate their supervisory needs.
Remember those unusual, black growths I found on the twigs of American beech that I wrote about in the last Ontario Arborist? I heard back from one of our readers (and contributors), Oliver Reichl, consulting arborist-ecologist from Eastern Ontario. Oliver nailed the identification of those black growths as a sooty mold fungus, Scorias spongiosa.
One of my most favourite things to do is to spend some quiet time outdoors. A brisk walk in the woods is good exercise but when I go for a nature walk, it’s about slowing down and watching, taking in all the smells of the great outdoors and listening. It’s really all the sounds that make me feel so connected to nature. If you go for a “nature walk” with me, you are going to have to be prepared to walk quietly and not talk for periods of time. As you can imagine, I do a lot of nature walks solo.
Climbers today have a plethora of gear available to them. Ropes, carabiners and pulleys come in a multitude of shapes, colours, sizes, materials and construction. In this article, I will discuss the compatibility issues that can arise when integrating different equipment into a climbing system.
Emerald ash borer (EAB) – one of the biggest news items of the past year in Ontario’s arboricultural community. This metallic-green beetle, native to Asia, has caused mass mortality to millions of ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees in eastern North America since first being discovered near Detroit in 2002. The larvae of EAB feed on the phloem and xylem of ash trees, eventually cutting off the flow of nutrients and usually killing the tree within about five years of initial attack. Dan McKenney and John Pedlar, Canadian Forest Service, have developed an economic model to assist in deciding the fate of ash trees threatened by EAB.
A common concern of conservationists is that seedlings, adapted to local soils and climates, are often in short supply and not used extensively in greening projects. Objective: to develop a manual for identifying seed trees to promote local seed collection programs.
Research goal: investigate whether the beetles utilize a chemical mating attractant. If females emit a sex pheromone, beetle surveys would be greatly facilitated, especially in areas with low EAB densities. Results are presented.
Let's Plant! is an ACER initiative for community-based planting and monitoring of future forests. This program is part of their Benchmarking Biodiversity & Planning Future Forests in Urban Impacted Areas ongoing program.
Native to North America, the elm spanworm (ES) is a serious defoliator of hardwood trees. During the past 5 years, it has reached outbreak densities in St. John's, NL. This grant was used to develop an integrated pest management plan for ES in the city. Here the authors present objectives and progress to date.