Forum Index > Stewardship > 'Dead tree after dead tree.' The case of Washington's dying foliage KUOW 09/17/19
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Ski
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PostMon Oct 14, 2019 9:38 pm 
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'Dead tree after dead tree.' The case of Washington's dying foliage KUOW 09/17/19

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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treeswarper
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Alleged Sockpuppet!
PostTue Oct 15, 2019 7:23 am 
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The maple blight has been going on for at least a decade in the East Lewis County area.  A timber faller told me they noticed it in the 1990s?  around Riffe Lake.

I lost several Big Leaf Maples on my Randle property to it.  You will notice a limb with dead leaves on it, then within a year or two, the tree is dead.  I lost a beauty to it.  The blight has provided a lot of maple firewood for the local people.  It did not seem to affect the young maples.

Now I am paranoid.  I have some kind of a maple in my backyard with dead limbs and the bark looks similar to what I have seen on the Randle maples.  That tree has not had good care in the past. This house was a rental and the renters did not water the yard.  That happens a lot around here.

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Doppelganger
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Gorecrow
PostTue Oct 15, 2019 7:58 am 
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I'm noticing that the cedars are looking more haggard and brown than I remember in years past, but maybe I am looking harder (or looking for certain things).
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IanB
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Vegetable Belayer
PostTue Oct 15, 2019 8:01 am 
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This summer was a reprieve, but the previous three seem more like the new normal - hotter and drier.  In my opinion the resulting drought stress is obvious, and it extends across most species besides just the hemlocks and maples.  A normal pattern for the PNW has been dry summer conditions which trees tolerated as part of the bargain for mild winters and moisture the rest of the year.  But every population has outliers, and if the most stressful time of the year becomes even more so, then the weaker individuals are the first to succumb.  As an arborist, I can often spot associated stresses that had put now-failing trees in greater jeopardy.  (Competition with neighboring trees, bad pruning practices, soil compaction, excavation in root zones, etc.)  The expert in the article is correct too, that these cumulative stresses then increase a tree's susceptibility to attack by pathogenic organisms.

My point is that at this stage of climate change, the weaker trees are the first to go, but as conditions worsen over time, the margin will become progressively slimmer for more and more trees.  The NW is not going to lose its mostly forested appearance anytime soon, but change is clearly underway.

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"Forget gaining a little knowledge about a lot and strive to learn a lot about a little."    - Harvey Manning
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treeswarper
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Alleged Sockpuppet!
PostWed Oct 16, 2019 8:35 pm 
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I'm thinking it'll be a species change and we'll become more like Southern Oregon and (shudder) Northern CA.  Sugar Pine, Doug-fir and poison oak.  Oh, and the fun to work in Tan Oak also.

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Anne Elk
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BrontosaurusTheorist
PostThu Nov 07, 2019 6:24 pm 
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Thanks for that post, Ski.  Anyone who does regular gardening/landscaping in these parts has noticed how horribly dry our soils have been getting during the last several years of extended high temps and drought. The King County master gardener volunteers who work in the parks spend the majority of our time in summer watering the gardens, and even with that, the soils become hydrophobic b/c they dry out so much in between waterings.

There have been several articles in the news in the last few years about mysterious sword fern die-offs.  I think if an analysis were done re the amt of sunlight those specific areas get, as well as ground water sources, it might be discovered that the ferns are dying off in the areas with the most sun exposure.

That we're going to meet or set a dryness record for late Oct/early Nov is kinda scary.

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"There are yahoos out there.  It’s why we can’t have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Forum Index > Stewardship > 'Dead tree after dead tree.' The case of Washington's dying foliage KUOW 09/17/19
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