Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Boston Globe Shade

See: Sappy Global Warming Story

Lot later this year, and the trees have not yet budded down here, either. WTF?

"Warm snap cuts short Vermont maple syrup season" by Megan Woolhouse Globe Staff  April 20, 2015

FAIRFIELD, Vt. —In most of New England, the spring weather was a cause for rejoicing. But here, in the heart of Vermont’s maple syrup country, it signaled the end of a sugaring season that had been, well, short and not-so-sweet for producers of the state’s signature crop.

The lingering harsh winter meant sap started running late this spring, and a sudden warm-up signaled a quick end to the sticky season. As a result, Vermont agricultural officials estimate sap yields for maple syrup production could be about half the usual this year.

What warm up?

“It’s not looking good for a full crop,” said Ric Nye, as he tended a massive vat of cooking sap at J.R. Sloan’s sugarhouse operation. Pushing his baseball cap backward to wipe away the sweat on his forehead, he said, “It’s hard to win when you’re playing with weather.”

And being lied to about it.

Pancake lovers, however, need not worry about a maple syrup shortage or a jump in prices. In a complicated twist involving global market forces and Canadian maple sugaring dominance, prices are expected to fall. More on that later.

But first, gently warming spring days and below-freezing nights are the optimal conditions for sap to flow in trees.

That's what we have had, and told it was perfect and prevented flooding

This Globe syrup tastes sour, hey!

Tim Perkins, director of the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center, said sap flowed in Vermont during just the first two to three weeks of April, about half the normal 30-day season, cutting yields significantly.

“You get what you get,” he said, “but it certainly could have been better.” 

Yeah, I don't want to get stuck in all this.

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, also known as the OPEC of maple syrup, stores about 5 million pounds of maple syrup to stabilize prices in years when production is poor. This strategic syrup reserve is about four times Vermont’s annual production.

Yeah, except no one wages wars over control of maple syrup.

Quebec’s maple syrup producers have another advantage, a weak Canadian dollar that’s trading about 20 percent below the US dollar. That means Canadian syrup sells for less in the United States, and American producers will have to match the prices Canadian suppliers can offer US grocers, said Michael Farrell, director of the Uihlein Forest, Cornell’s Sugar Maple Research & Extension Field Station in Lake Placid, N.Y.

I rarely buy maple products anyway, so....

“Prices are going down,” he said. “but it has nothing to do with syrup production.”

Farrell, however, said it is important to remember that the global appetite for maple syrup is growing, and that opportunities abound for producers. For example, demand in Japan and India is up, he said, as more people seek maple syrup as a sweetener with more minerals and nutrients than other sweeteners....

Can put it in your sports drink or beer from what I hear.


So what could be killing the trees?

"Big cities and small towns from Pennsylvania to Colorado are surrendering to a small, shiny bug by preemptively eliminating a big part of their urban foliage. Some towns may not look the same again for decades. The emerald ash borer, which is native to Asia, was first spotted in the United States in 2002, when it showed up in the Detroit area. It devastated ash trees in Michigan and has spread to at least 21 other states as people haul firewood or other wood products from place to place. Now, daunted by the cost and difficulty of stopping the insect, many cities are choosing to destroy their trees before the borer can. About 50 million trees have been removed so far."

That's a Holocaust™! Less trees to suck up carbon dioxide, too!

Showed up in Detroit, did they?

Maybe there is a silver lining to it all:

"State forest officials see silver lining in loss of red pines; Demise can clear way for restoration of other species" by David Abel, Globe Staff  March 24, 2015

PLYMOUTH — State officials are concerned the vast tracts of defunct trees increase the threat of a forest fire that could spread to nearby communities.

At least we have the water to put them out.

Scientists believe the scales came to the United States on exotic pines from Asia planted at the New York World’s Fair in 1939. They were first discovered as a problem in 1946 in Connecticut, where they were found to be feeding on local red pines. It wasn’t until the past decade that the insects emerged as a problem in the rest of the Northeast.

Ain't globalism grand?

“It’s now a regionwide concern,” said Kevin Dodds, an entomologist with the US Forest Service in New Hampshire, where thousands of red pines have been cut down in recent years. “We might lose what red pine we have.”

But the trees’ deaths could be a form of salvation for the Plymouth forest, where the red pines were planted in massive numbers after a catastrophic fire burned through the forest and surrounding communities in 1957. The new trees thrived at the expense of indigenous shrubbery and wildlife that live in their shadows.

“We’re looking forward to a full ecological restoration,” said Paul Gregory, chief forester at Myles Standish.

Last spring, the state brought in a contractor to start clearing the forest of red pines. Since then, tens of thousands — nearly half of all red pines in the forest — have been felled and chipped for mulch, leaving broad swaths of knobby stumps poking through the snow-covered ground this winter. The rest of the red pines will be removed in the next few months.

Like other tree parasites, such as Asian longhorned beetles and emerald ash borers, the red pine scale came from overseas, and has been on a steady march through the forests of the Northeast.

The tiny, reddish brown insects are spread by birds building nests, on the backs of squirrels — or by the insects themselves crawling along branches that reach the limbs of other red pines in close proximity.

No one knows exactly why the scales are now killing so many red pines.

Climate change could be playing a role, but it also may be the life cycle of the aging trees and the movement of the pests, said Michael Simmons, a doctoral student at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, who’s working with the US Forest Service to investigate the rising mortality rates of red pines. “There are too many unknowns at this point,” he said.

The potential loss of millions of the red pines poses problems for some forests, especially where the red pines are indigenous. The trees provide cover for native vegetation to grow on the ground and could give rise to invasive shrubs. It also represents a potential economic loss to forests that earn money from timber sales.

Money does grow on trees!

“Every species in the forest plays their critical role,” Simmons said.

At Myles Standish, however, the red pines are considered invasive. The vast majority of the stands were planted after the forest fire in 1957 because they grow predictably in neat rows, were deemed to have fewer risks of dying prematurely than other pines, and provided a potential source of income from lumber, Gregory said.

The trees thrived as expected for decades. In 2008, though, state officials noticed signs of the red pine scales, as well as a withering blight. Since then, as thousands of the pests have infested nearly every red pine at Myles Standish, the needles have fallen out or grown brown on the branches. Beetles and woodpeckers, which move in when a tree is in decline, have dealt the coup de grace to many of the trees, pockmarking them with boring holes.

So state conservation officials last year brought in Raymond Sawyer, who owns a logging company in Hubbardston, to clear the forest of red pines. Sawyer paid the state $5,001 to harvest all the timber. Using heavy machinery, he had cut thousands of trees a day until mid-February, when the snow made it too hard to operate. He expects to finish this summer.

“The sooner, the better,” Sawyer said. “The longer the dead trees are there, the less their value.”

The new open spaces in Myles Standish are good for the forest, Gregory said.

The state hopes to restore the land to its natural habitat of pitch pines and scrub oaks. They are better suited for native vegetation, like reed bentgrass and broom crowberries, as well as endangered species, such as coastal heathland cutworms, waxed sallow moths, and purple tiger beetles.

Fewer dead trees also mean less danger in the forest’s many bike paths and other trails.

“There was an urgency to take action,” Gregory said. “The longer we waited, the greater the fire and public safety hazards.”

Sorry. Fell asleep under the tree.


Not out of the woods yet:

"New England’s plants face significant threat, report says; 22 percent of native species said to be extinct, rare, or in decline" by David Abel, Globe Staff  March 26, 2015

Elizabeth Farnsworth, a senior research ecologist at the Wild Flower Society and the author of the report, expects that the number of plants declining or vanishing is likely to increase in coming years, especially as humans continue to burn fossil fuels and the climate changes.

Temperatures in Northeastern states have risen by 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century, and are predicted to soar as much as 10 degrees by the end of the century.

And the sky is falling.

That means common species in New England that can’t tolerate higher temperatures, such as sugar maple trees, are likely to begin dying off in large numbers, and lethal insects such as the hemlock woolly adelgid will proliferate, Farnsworth said.

Well, it is looking like we won't have to and haven't been.

The warmer weather is already bringing flora farther north, such as kudzu, noxious weeds that choke native trees and plants or deprive them of light by creating a dense canopy.

Not this year, and we have reached the point where this agenda-pushing stuff is not to be believed.

Paul Smith, secretary general of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, an advocacy group that represents 500 botanic gardens around the world, said the problems are accelerating as the human population increases, development advances, and more carbon dioxide pours into the atmosphere.

Related: Fart-Misting Fudge-Packers 


He and others noted that the loss of plants means less carbon dioxide converted to oxygen, reduced cleansing of the air of pollutants, and diminished biodiversity, which will mean the loss of food sources and potential medical treatments.

Same with cutting down trees, huh?

Other findings of the report include:

■ The overpopulation of deer, increased reliance on dams, and widespread use of pesticides and herbicides, which kill pollinators and other insects, are taking a toll on the region’s plant diversity.

Global warming.

■ Declining species are most likely to be found in the region’s meadows; shorelines; and rocky areas such as cliffs.

■ After a century of rebuilding the forests of New England, which were decimated by logging, the region’s woodlands are declining again.

Lynn Harper, a habitat protection specialist at the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program in Westborough, called the report “sobering and shocking.”

“It’s not being alarmist or overblowing the situation,” she said. “We’re facing a really serious situation. Native plants are really facing a lot of threat.”

We will get to your concerns after the polluting Pentagon destroys the terrorists, 'kay?

“This is a sign that we’re not taking care of our ecological system,” said Debbi Edelstein, executive director of the New England Wild Flower Society in Framingham. “If the plants are in trouble, the food at our dinner table — and much more — is in trouble.”

More spew from an agenda-pushing Jew.


That's where it is to be found, yeah.

RelatedNantucket is fastest growing county in Mass., US Census finds

Why is it not yet under water


"Brighton ‘tree ninja’ charged with destruction of property" by Steve Annear Globe Staff  April 15, 2015

A man known to police as the Brighton “tree ninja” was arraigned Wednesday in District Court for allegedly damaging a tree using a hammer.

Joseph Rizza, 65, of Brighton, was charged with five counts of willful and malicious destruction of property, and one count of possession of a dangerous weapon.

Police said they are investigating Rizza in connection with several years of reports of similar incidents. “This ‘Brighton Tree Ninja’ would either chop down, or damage beyond saving, young trees that were planted in Brighton,” Boston police said in a statement.

Earlier this month, detectives set up surveillance cameras in the parking lot near the Brighton Elks Lodge. On Wednesday, police said, detectives took Rizza into custody after they saw him enter the lot and begin to cut down a tree.

Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley, praised investigators for nipping this case in the bud.

“It started with input from Brighton residents, continued with the strategic deployment of public safety cameras, and resulted in charges that could otherwise have been very challenging to prove,” he said.

In March, Rizza was ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device and given a curfew after being charged with vandalizing a tree on Winship Street.

On Wednesday, the judge ordered Rizza to be held in lieu of $7,000 bail on the new charges. Wark said Rizza will be held for 60 days even if he posts bail, because he violated the conditions of his release in the March case. His next court date is May 19.


UPDATEMass. maple syrup producers enjoy record year

Also seeWith suspect in ‘tree ninja’ case behind bars, city replants in Brighton

FURTHER UPDATEBrighton man accused, again, of damaging trees