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Thursday, March 28, 2013

The below story is an excerpt taken from a podcast done by WAMC in Albany, for the full story see link at bottom.

A large tree in a small Berkshire town may hold the key to finding the cure to a disease that has deforested suburban landscapes for decades.

Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

Jim McSweeney, a certified arborist from Chesterfield, Massachusetts, is standing with a pole saw under a massive elm tree along a sidewalk in Great Barrington. He’s taking of the samples of the twigs and buds that haven’t yet formed into flowers in the early spring.

McSweeney is contracting with the Nature Conservancy to take samples of select, large elm trees across the Northeast. Ecologist Christian Marks said that they are after survivors of Dutch elm disease.

Dutch elm disease is caused by an invasive fungus carried on the backs of beetles that feed on the twigs and bark of several elm species. Introduced from Europe in the1930s, the disease destroyed elms and shady streetscapes in the United States throughout the following decades. The streets of Albany were historically famous for their impressive elms.

An unaffected tree can live for hundred...

photo taken by Tom Zetterstrom

For the full story & pod cast vist...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Climbed in Great Barrington yesterday. 3 trees. The 3rd and final tree of the day was likey planted when the house was built, 1787 the year our constitution was written! Albany Public Radio was there along w/ a few newspapers. The pics were taken by professional photographer & tree lover Tom Zetterstrom of Elm watch. Pete, my employee, will be climbing the next few days and by the weekend the trees bud will be to far open to gather anymore sample for the year.

in the above photo...
Try to find the long tailed lemur in the canopy, rare in these parts

Monday, March 25, 2013

Elm Project, Day 6

Climbed a 100+foot elm down along the Ct. River banks in W. Springfield. Had a view of the river, stripped cars, a bald eagle, massive cottonwoods, Eddies Auto and a guy from the local news w/ a camera who looked awfully out of place. Got some choice pollen. Street value of this stuff is big time.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Nature Conservency Article, Elm Project

An article has just been written and posted on The Nature Conservency's website about the collaboration between us and them. See link below. Tomorrow I climb a 300 yr. old elm in Hatfield, MA

Friday, March 22, 2013

I teamed up last year with the Trustees of the Reservation. To design and install a native sustainable landscape for a new property they had acquired. Check out the link if it sounds of interest.

Mature Tree Preservation (sugar maple)

Today I worked on perserving some old historic sugar maples. Part of the old Graves homestead in Williamsburg MA. Last fall we organically fertilized & mulched the trees. The clients are committed to perserving the historic aspects of the landscape and we have worked on dozens of mature sugar maples on the property. The client, looking towards the future, has been replanting with trees more likely to be able to handle the future changing environment.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Elm Project with The Nature Conservency

Elm project w/ Nature Conservancy. In a few weeks I will begin a project w/ the N.C. trying to increase the genetic diversity of our native elms. I will be climbing the tallest elms in W. Mass and getting pollen from the highest braches.
The branches will be sent to Ohio for the pollen to be crossed w/ other elms of great size, vigor & dutch elm resistance. Hence a tree which will stand up to a myriad of future challenges. Stay tuned for more details.

Today (3/20/13) was my first day teaming up w/ The Nature Conservency. Climbed 3 HUGE elms in N. Conn. Had to get pollen from the highest braches, 100+feet. 3 down, 21 more to go in the next 9 days. I can believe they pay me to do this!

Views. red tail hawk leaves its nest in a dead cottonwood. flood plains of the Ct. river. frozen corn stubble defies the gusts. horse & sulkie trot, while red tail cries and circles, ice chunks float down the river. sprigs of green to ignorant to know any better poke through last nights snow. swollen buds raining down trillions of pollen seeds. spring.