Paul J Hetzler's Blog (19)

HELP PREVENT OAK WILT

Painting Our Way Out of a Corner

It’s normal to tune out all the Chicken Littles (such as yours truly) who run around squawking about this or that invasive forest pest or disease that pose a threat to trees. I mean, how many times can the sky fall, anyway? But the real danger is when we feel so overwhelmed that we throw up our hands. Thinking we can’t make a difference could result in more harm to forests than the pests themselves.

There’s a pithy fable about a child who…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on August 9, 2021 at 9:57pm — No Comments

Gypsy Moths

Like a B-grade horror film sequel, the aliens have awakened once again. Perhaps we felt a glimmer of hope at the end of the 2020 version when an entire generation of ruthless monsters died off in droves and left us in peace. But remember that closing shot of their disgusting, furry egg-mass blobs cleverly hidden out of sight? Well they’re hatching now.

If you missed last year’s gypsy moth performance, you have a better chance of catching it this season. Unfortunately. Based on…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on May 17, 2021 at 7:54pm — No Comments

Garlic Mustard Management

Do Nothing about Invasive Plants

Paul Hetzler, ISA Ceritfied Arborist

Until recently, ignoring problems in hopes they’ll go away hasn’t served me well. However, a decade-long study done by Cornell University researchers has clearly shown that avoidance is the best way to manage garlic mustard (Allaria petiolata), a pernicious exotic plant. Evidently I’ve been doing a great job in the fight against this aggressive and troublesome invader.

Native to most of Europe…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on April 16, 2021 at 8:13am — No Comments

Tips for Winter Tree ID

Tree Buds: Honest Friends

How to distinguish one leaf-bereft hardwood from another in winter is more of a challenge than summer tree ID, but there are practical reasons – and a few offbeat incentives – to tell one species from another in the dormant season. Hikers and skiers can benefit from such a skill, and in survival situations, hydration and warmth may depend on it. And if you’re among those who adore wintertime camping, you can have more fun when you know common woody…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on March 9, 2021 at 6:57pm — No Comments

Sapsucker Damage Indicates Stressed Trees

Sapsuckers and Other Insults

Icebreaker exercises are apparently meant to help awkward group events like staff development days feel even less comfortable. I recall a workplace training where we had to inform the group what animal best represented our personality. I was going to say “squirrel” but got distracted by something out the window, and forgot. In retrospect I should have chosen the yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), since I spent much of that same event…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on February 5, 2021 at 12:10pm — No Comments

New Wood Markets for Novel Forest Products

Wooden You Know

As a card-carrying, registered tree hugger, I have long touted the benefits of trees such as carbon storage, energy savings and improved mental health. And beyond the familiar tree-related blessings such as maple syrup, lumber and firewood, I’ve written about some obscure things like birch-based candy that fights tooth decay, and health-promoting chaga tea derived from a birch fungus. Then there’s basswood bark for fiber, elm bark for baskets, and pine bark for lunch.…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on January 9, 2021 at 1:23pm — No Comments

New Wood Markets for Novel Forest Products

Wooden You Know

As a card-carrying, registered tree hugger, I have long touted the benefits of trees such as carbon storage, energy savings and improved mental health. And beyond the familiar tree-related blessings such as maple syrup, lumber and firewood, I’ve written about some obscure things like birch-based candy that fights tooth decay, and health-promoting chaga tea derived from a birch fungus. Then there’s basswood bark for fiber, elm bark for baskets, and pine bark for lunch.…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on January 9, 2021 at 1:23pm — No Comments

Promoting Natural Christmas Trees

Pining for the Good Old Days

Children around the globe will be disappointed on Christmas if the World Health Organization doesn’t exempt Santa from COVID-19 restrictions. But I’m sure they will. Due to the pandemic, many authorities advise that we celebrate in our respective households this year; no visitors. Yikes! Looks like we’ll have to rely on past memories for the holidays in 2020, which is bad news for those of us who can’t keep track of our car keys for two…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on December 7, 2020 at 3:04pm — No Comments

Woodpeckers Are Beneficial

Messengers, Not Miscreants

If you get bad news about one of your trees, kindly don’t blame the messenger. Even if – especially if – they vandalize that very tree. It could save a lot of trouble, and possibly your life, to heed their memo.

Although it’s captivating to watch a big prehistoric-looking woodpecker chisel away at a rotten snag in the forest, the same performance loses its charm when it jack-hammers a hole in your perfectly good tree. The thing is, no matter how…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on December 7, 2020 at 2:58pm — No Comments

Conspiracy of Leaf Color-Change

Fall Color Conspiracy

Conspiracy hypotheses (or theories, as we like to call them, since “hypotheses” cannot be uttered without a lisp) seem to multiply unfettered these days, so I feel awkward birthing yet another. But you may be intrigued to learn that the wide spectrum of color in the region’s fall foliage is largely the result of a Depression-era project implemented by the Hoover Administration.

We live in one of the few places on Earth where trees produce such a…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on September 12, 2020 at 6:49am — No Comments

Learning to Speak Pine

Pine Whisperers

The term psithurism (sith-er-izm) doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it’s not meant to. The word, from the Greek psithuros (whisper), indicates the melody that rolls off pine needles in a gentle wind. It also means the sound of “proper” leaves shaking in the treetops. Obviously, we need another word, because these two things – whispering pines and rustling leaves – may both soothe us, but they sound quite different.

In our little home in the…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on August 29, 2020 at 9:56am — No Comments

Tree Defenses

Tree Protection

Paul Hetzler, ISA Certified Arborist

As someone whose job it is to help preserve trees, I find it ironic that in nearly every case I am saving them from us. We injure their root systems, whack them with mowers and weed-eaters, plant them too deeply, and do many other things which jeopardize their health. It would be terrifying if they could fight back in the manner of Tolkien’s magical Fangorn Forest. For one thing, tree work would be a lot more dangerous than…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on August 22, 2020 at 3:24pm — No Comments

The End of Sugar Maples?

Maples on the Move

Unless trees are wondrously furtive, I’m pretty sure they don’t travel. But their species ranges can. A report from the US Forest Service’s Northern Research Station indicates that due to climate change, 70% of Eastern tree species have already begun to shift their ranges to the north. The authors admit this is not a new trend, but rather the hastening of an old one:

“Tree ranges in ancient times certainly shifted according to changing climates, but the…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on August 19, 2020 at 8:50am — No Comments

The End of Sugar Maples?

Maples on the Move

Unless trees are wondrously furtive, I’m pretty sure they don’t travel. But their species ranges can. A report from the US Forest Service’s Northern Research Station indicates that due to climate change, 70% of Eastern tree species have already begun to shift their ranges to the north. The authors admit this is not a new trend, but rather the hastening of an old one:

“Tree ranges in ancient times certainly shifted according to changing climates, but the…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on August 19, 2020 at 8:50am — No Comments

Forget Covid -- Lyme is Worse

Ticked Off Again

It seems the price we pay for warm weather is the onset of bug bites. Clouds of mosquitoes suck the fun out of outdoor activities, but one bite from a deer (black-legged) tick can put you out of commission for the whole season – maybe longer.

As recently as a decade ago in northern NY State it was unusual to find deer ticks on you even after a long day outdoors. Technically an invasive species, the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) is another gift from…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on May 5, 2020 at 10:12am — 1 Comment

Forest Bathing

Trees by the Tub-full

Paul Hetzler

A hot bath is an age-old remedy for calming our nerves, but science has now shown that a better tonic for anxiety and stress is bathing in the forest, fully dressed. True story. Of course, a few details would be helpful.

In a blinding flash of the obvious, research has proven that being around trees makes us feel better. To be fair, the scientific process requires measurable evidence, so in this case, real-time brain imaging with fMRI…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on February 23, 2020 at 9:43am — No Comments

Re-Thinking Black Locust

Not Plagued by Black Locusts

Paul Hetzler, ISA Certified Arborist

Sometimes I wonder if the Biblical plagues of ancient Egypt have lingered in one form or another. Blooms of toxic algae, which occasionally turn water a blood-red color, are on the increase. Gnats and lice have been supplanted by deer ticks, which I’d argue are even worse, and there is no shortage of hail in season. Frog outbreaks may not have occurred since Pharaoh’s time, but poisonous cane toads imported to…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on February 23, 2020 at 8:38am — 1 Comment

Avoiding Split Trees

Wishbone Trees

Breaking a wishbone, some believe, may impart good fortune to the person left with the bigger half. When a tree splits, though, everyone loses. Fortunately, by engaging a tree-care professional, we can control whether or not a Y-shaped tree splits.

Growing up, our family’s Thanksgiving traditions were well balanced. First we ate a lot, but after dinner my two brothers and I engaged in vigorous exercise for thirty minutes or so. That’s usually how long it took to…

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Added by Paul J Hetzler on November 19, 2019 at 9:19pm — No Comments

Forum

Spotted lantern fly in maple stands - effects?

Started by Tim Levatich in Forest Health Sep 9. 0 Replies

Hi, All.I've been reading brief mentions that spotted lantern fly "likes maple". I'm wondering if there is any experience so far with what happens to a forest that has a heavy proportion of maple composition and is hit with a SLF infestation. Our…Continue

Tags: grapes, orchard, fruit, slf, lantern

Hypo-hatchet

Started by Mike Blasko in Woodlot Management Jul 28. 0 Replies

I just got a hypo-hatchet to use for beech hack and squirt treatments. The manufacturer states to only use with Amine herbicides only. Is glyphosate an Amine or Ester herbicide?Continue

IPhone surveys

Started by Jim Martin in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Peter Smallidge Jul 13. 13 Replies

Smart phones have GPS.  Has anyone figured out how to use them for mapping wooded land.  I am especially interested in a way to map  my logging trails. Jim MartinContinue

Forester recommendations?

Started by Roger Rodriguez in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Michael Dirac Jul 10. 2 Replies

We are new to forestry ownership and need some advice. We would like to be good stewards of the property and also provide occasional profit of some kind, especially to offset the taxes we pay on the property. I was thinking tree farming (?) as a…Continue

succession after a pine plantation

Started by Jim Martin in Woodlot Management Jun 23. 0 Replies

About 1982 I planted 8000 white pine in a former pasture on the advice of my ex-forester with an OK from the DEC. They got badly weeviled.  I thinned   every third row  and  later also   hit  the most damaged ones which were left.  I hoped to favor…Continue

Hemlock

Started by Chaz U. Farly in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Jim Martin Jun 23. 2 Replies

Is there a reason the State of New York stopped selling hemlock seedlings? I'd made up my mind that I'd like to plant a hundred, maybe more, for my grandsons to enjoy, but find no source. Continue

How long do brush cutter blades work?

Started by Joanne Vaughn in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Joanne Vaughn May 19. 8 Replies

I dunno maybe it's because time flies when it's multiflora rose and buckthorns that are getting whacked. It seems that these blades are needing retirement after 8 or so hours.   Is this typical for this type of material. WIde range of material but…Continue

Tags: cutter, brush

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