Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Dangers Of Forest Fires

You’ll get amazed of all the wonderful things happening on our planet. All living things big or small make our life so much fun and exciting. However, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies and everything nice. There are cons to living too. Whether it is pollution, human’s evil side, and the wrath of Mother Nature in the form of destructive natural calamities, one can easily perish in an instant if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

One of the most understated calamities that can either be man-made or a natural one is forest fires. It can burn millions of acres of land and cross states if the conditions permit. Many animals are displaced because of it and even humans too that live in rural areas and happen to be living nearby. Also known as wildfires or bush fires, forest fires are simply fires happening in rural areas or the countryside that is rich in combustible plants and vegetation. And it is not a new phenomenon because wildfires have been happening for millions of years ago – ever since terrestrial plants first appeared on earth.

This summer, a searing heat wave has helped spawn major fires in the Balkans, parts of Italy and Spain, and southern France and Corsica, as a changing climate affects countries across Southern Europe.

But Portugal has become a particularly stark case of what the future may hold if changes to land, climate and economies go mismanaged.

The deaths in June provoked a fresh round of soul-searching and spurred an investigation, still continuing, into how and why the wildfire engulfed Pedrógão Grande, about 10 miles from where Mr. Muralha lives, close to Oleiros.

Oleiros and its environs are a prime example of the changes to the landscape that have rendered Portugal ever more vulnerable to fire.

The area is a hub for the country’s wood industry. The hamlet where Mr. Muralha lives has just 12 residents, down from about 180 in the 1960s, he said.

(Via: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/12/world/europe/portugal-forest-fires-pedrogao-grande.html)

Bush fires aren’t just a problem faced by rural dwellers in the United States but in other parts of the world as well. Most of the time, it takes years and decades of rehabilitation before a place struck by such a calamity eventually recovers. It is a concerted effort by the government, NGOs and the community as a whole alongside the natural ability of the landscape to heal and recover. Trees don’t grow in a day or two. It takes months and even years for some to reach a towering height that is characteristic of trees in the forest.

More than 3,000 firefighters struggled yesterday to put out forest fires across Portugal, after the country requested assistance from Europe to fight blazes that threaten to spread with more hot weather in the coming days.
Exceptionally dry and hot weather ignited
Portugal’s worst fire disaster in memory early this summer, killing 64 people, and fires have continued to flare up in recent weeks with the arrival of each new hotter spell of weather.
Interior Minister Constanca Urbana de Sousa said the country sent the request for help to Europe late on Saturday because of concerns that high temperatures and high winds in the coming days could increase the number of fires.
The minister said the request was carried out “because of a question of prudence” due to the weather forecast for coming days, according to news agency Lusa.
It covered requests for firefighting airplanes and firemen and is part of a European mechanism for co-operation to fight fires.

(Via: http://www.gulf-times.com/story/560130/Portugal-asks-for-help-to-battle-forest-fires)

Not only does the environment suffer in the wake of widespread bushfires but it has an effect on the country’s economy as well. Since some of the natural and raw resources we use in various industries can be found in most forests, it is easy to understand how devastating losing access to these resources is when the forest is now devoid of life. And don’t get me started on the harmful gases it emits that contribute to global warming. The list can go on and on.

However, as damaging as it may be, wildfires actually serve a crucial role in shaping various ecosystems by initiating change to take place. So, no matter how difficult it may be, don’t hesitate in planting anew after tragedies like bushfires. Ensure that dead and burnt trees are removed from the ground. http://www.allcleartree.com/removal may be of help as tree removal is their expertise. Only then can new trees be planted if the old ones are no longer there.

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source http://www.allcleartree.com/removal/dangers-forest-fires

Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Story About The Joshua Tree

The planet is full of mysteries the human mind can’t always comprehend. From the intricate design of the planet to the interesting inter-relationships among various species, your mind is blown over and over again as to how we manage to coexist alongside each other, although not always peacefully. Like the Joshua tree, for instance, it has helped shape California’s the Mojave Desert along with its ever faithful companion, the Yucca moths. The symbiotic (win-win) relationship between various species has helped fill the world with living things big and small that live alongside us humans.

It’s funny how even the tiniest of living things can have a big impact on the world. In this case, the Yucca moth helped the Joshua tree pollinate and in the process co-evolved. Experts attest to the fact that their relationship has been going on for years as both need one another for survival. Yucca moth caterpillars only have the Joshua tree seeds for sustenance and the latter won’t be able to thrive without the aid of the moths in pollination.

But in the vast world of plants and their pollinators, there was one example that Darwin deemed the “most wonderful case of fertilisation ever published” in a letter to botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker. This was the curious case of the Joshua tree and the yucca moth. 

We’ll start with the Joshua tree, the Mojave Desert’s most iconic plant. With its spiny fronds and clubbed tufts topped by pungent, waxy flowers twisting towards the desert sky, this desert-adapted shrub has a reputation for otherworldliness. Everyone who passes through the desert remembers the majestic Joshua tree; its namesake has inspired artists, filmmakers and many a sojourner in search of transcendence. 

Few travelers, however, wax poetic about its evolutionary partner, the yucca moth. The small, dun bug is initially unassuming, but upon closer inspection, it is an equally extraterrestrial match for the iconic Joshua tree. Instead of a regular mouthpiece, it sports bizarre, tentacle-like fronds, the likes of which are unique among insects—and serve an essential purpose in the desert ecosystem. 

(Via: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-tree-and-its-moth-shaped-mojave-desert-180964452/)

The world works in mysterious ways, indeed. There are many things that happen around us that we are totally clueless of because some are so minuscule we can’t possibly see it with our naked eyes but they contribute greatly to the planet. The humble Joshua tree managed to survive for years just with the help of the Yucca moth and same with the latter.

Some 2 million people flock to southern California's Joshua Tree National Park every year to see its namesake flora and experience its unforgiving desert environment—but those who leave before sundown are missing out. At night the sky comes alive with stars and now it is being officially recognized as an "International Dark Sky Park," a designation given by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) to "a land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage, and/or public enjoyment."

As Desert Sun, a subsidiary of USA Today, reported, Joshua Tree will officially join the list of over 50 other Dark Sky Parks around the world, which draw stargazers and astronomers for clear views of our galaxy, at a ceremony at Joshua Tree's Copper Mountain College on August 12. So why doesn't every remote outpost around the world get the designation? To be a designated Dark Sky Park, the communities that surround it have to actively contribute to minimizing light pollution.

(Via: http://www.cntraveler.com/story/joshua-tree-national-park-to-get-dark-sky-park-designation-for-stargazing)

Aside from the rich history and nature of the tree itself, the place where this tree only grows is also famous as an “International Dark Sky Park” – meaning it is a great place to watch starry nights. It is more reason to head to this renowned park, if not to see the Joshua tree up close but to experience what it is like to see the night-sky away from the blinding city lights. The residents living nearby do their part in ensuring there is little light traffic in the place to preserve its natural light once night time falls.

While trees are welcome in the far rural areas of California where the Joshua tree grows, it’s not the same in San Diego. Some trees can be a bother to the residents, which is why it needs to be removed. For times like this, contact a professional here: http://www.allcleartree.com/removal because you may get hurt cutting down a tree if you do not know what you are doing. Better let the pros deal with it and wait for all the mess to be cleared after. Trees serve their purpose, so when they don’t anymore it is fine to take them down.

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source http://www.allcleartree.com/removal/story-joshua-tree

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Trees Dry Up During The Hot Summer Months

Trees are living things as well like us humans. They have needs that must be met in order to grow and thrive in an increasingly inhospitable planet. It also means that they get affected too by a myriad of factors that likewise affects human beings. The climate, pollution, human activities, etc. all make survival doubly harder for every single one of us. Imagine yourself suffering from the extreme heat at this time of the year. You are not alone. Trees feel the heat too and if you just give them the time of day and look a little closer, you’d see them drying up from top to bottom.

Our first instinct is to increase our water intake to fight the heat. It makes perfect sense actually and it is probably our survival instinct taking over that we immediately reach out for a cool and refreshing glass of water to quench our thirst and beat the heat. Plants need as much water too. Seeing tree trunks and barks drying and cracking is a strong indicator that it is likewise in dire need of water and some TLC.

It’s been several weeks since Grande Prairie has seen significant rainfall, and its starting to show. The city’s parks department says local trees are showing signs of drought stress, which is forcing some into early dormancy.

Some of the symptoms include yellowing leaves and dying branches, and without some relief, they could be killed over the winter. The city is asking residents to consider watering their trees and shrubs over the next few days to help, as they will need enough reserves to last them through to next spring.

In order to properly water a tree, people should turn their hose to a trickle, and leave it where rain would normally drip off of its branches. It should be left in several spots for a total of an hour.

“Grass consumes a significant amount of water so shallow, frequent watering does little to
help trees” it’s explained in a release. “Deep, infrequent watering (once every two weeks for mature trees) is much more effective.”

(Via: http://www.mygrandeprairienow.com/31335/dry-conditions-causing-tree-stress/)

But while watering plants and trees help them overcome the heat and lets them stay hydrated all day-long, it isn’t always an easy thing to do. First, droughts are becoming quite common now, so water is becoming more of a precious commodity that no longer always comes for free. Then, the summer months are longer and more intense perhaps because of climate change. Once trees lose their color, dry up, and begin to wilt, they become susceptible as well to disease and insect infestation. Even the oldest and biggest of trees have a hard time staying healthy during long and dry summer spells.

As the number of droughts increases globally, scientists are working to develop predictions of how future parched conditions will affect plants, especially trees.

New results published today in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution by 62 scientists, led by Henry Adams at Oklahoma State University, synthesized research from drought manipulation studies and revealed the mechanisms by which tree deaths happen.

"Understanding drought is critical to managing our nation's forests," says Lina Patino, a section head in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Earth Sciences, which co-funded the study through its Critical Zone Observatories program. "This research will help us more accurately predict how trees will respond to environmental stresses, whether drought, insect damage or disease."

Adds Liz Blood, director of NSF's MacroSystems Biology program, which co-funded the research, "Droughts are simultaneously happening over large regions of the globe, affecting forests with very different trees. The discovery of how droughts cause mortality in trees, regardless of the type of tree, allows us to make better regional-scale predictions of droughts' effects on forests."

(Via: https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=242634)

When it is the time of the year when the heat is just too much and you can’t possibly move a tree somewhere else cooler, try to eliminate any other factors that can cause further stress to the tree like creepy, crawling insects. And while we like to believe that water is the answer to trees drying issues, there is a proper method to watering down a tree. Water it gradually and at soil level. Sprinklers aren’t ideal since only the top soil is soaked and the tree roots remain all dried up. Avoid over-watering it down too since it can drown the tree especially when the surrounding soil already appears soaked with water.

Trees that already died because of the heat and can no longer be salvaged better be removed from the land. Stumps can be problematic, though, as they are huge and grow deep into the ground. Experts at stump removal can help you with this one as they have the knowledge, skills, and manpower on how to do this right. http://www.allcleartree.com/stump-removal is a cost-effective way to get these dead tree stumps removed for good. Now, you can keep on caring for your (still) live and breathing trees and not waste your time, effort, and resources in something that is long gone.

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source http://www.allcleartree.com/removal/trees-dry-hot-summer-months