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The War On Trees

The War On Trees

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 10 May 2018, 08:51:59

US cities losing 36 million trees a year, researchers find

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018 ... ees-a-year

"...Cities in the United States are increasingly seeing concrete in place of greenery as urban areas lose an estimated 36m trees annually, according to a study from the Forest Service.

Tree cover in urban areas has declined at a rate of around 175,000 acres per year, while impervious cover – such as roads and buildings – has increased significantly across the country. An estimated 40% of new impervious surfaces were in areas where trees used to grow..."

We're not only toasting the planet by heating it faster than ever before, we're working furiously to pave as much of it as we can, too!
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby Revi » Thu 10 May 2018, 10:39:16

Urban trees don't have a long lifespan. The most popular types, ginkgos are pretty tough, but even so they succumb pretty quickly to the urban environment. Meanwhile Ailanthus thrives!

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Last edited by Revi on Thu 10 May 2018, 12:38:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby Revi » Thu 10 May 2018, 12:29:11

I guess the half life for urban street trees is around 13-20 years! Not great odds. Here's an interesting article about the real stats.
http://www.deeproot.com/blog/blog-entri ... ful-number

My personal favorite tree to plant lately is the Acer Freeman crosses, which is a mixture of red and silver maple. Tough, doesn't spread and can take the same conditions as an Acer Platanoides (Norway Maple). Plus it turns a brilliant red in the fall. That's why they call it Autumn Blaze. There are other cultivars that work well too, like the flame shaped ones.

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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 10 May 2018, 14:05:34

Gorgeous! Where do you get to plant them?
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 12 May 2018, 10:13:13

Trees have it pretty tough in an urban environment. To do well they need soil eighteen inches deep all the way out to their drip line with some real topsoil as the top six inches not just a six by six foot patch every dog in the neighborhood tinkles on daily. People try to put them in thin strips between curb and sidewalk where summer heat off the pavement dries them out and winter snow removal packs them in salt slush. And then half of them are planted too close to utility lines so the line crews have to massacre half of the top every few years.
Fortunately the trees out in the forests are doing better. As farming become concentrated on the flat western plains the farms on the hills are reverting back to forest. On my own land which was majority open back in the days of sheep farming I have been cutting trees yearly sense I was tall enough to swing an axe or hold a chain saw but I'm steadily losing ground to the trees. Fields I grew corn on thirty years ago now have thick stands of emergent species.(poplar birch etc.) that are forty feet tall and a foot through at the stump.
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby dohboi » Sat 12 May 2018, 10:31:16

Good points about urban trees, vt. As I understand it, just the air pollution can take quite a toll on them as well.

And good to hear that you are seeing some re-forestation in your area.

Unfortunately this does not seem to be the case globally:

Global tree cover loss nears all-time high

http://www.wri.org/news/2015/09/release ... d-hotspots

This is a couple years old, though, so if anyone has time to track down more recent stats, it would be much appreciated. Right now, my gardens are calling me! :-D
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 12 May 2018, 10:57:58

"In the United States, which contains 8 percent of the world's forests, there are more trees than there were 100 years ago. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), "Forest growth nationally has exceeded harvest since the 1940s. By 1997, forest growth exceeded harvest by 42 percent and the volume of forest growth was 380 percent greater than it had been in 1920." The greatest gains have been seen on the East Coast (with average volumes of wood per acre almost doubling since the '50s) which was the area most heavily logged by European settlers beginning in the 1600s, soon after their arrival.

This is great news for those who care about the environment because trees store CO2, produce oxygen — which is necessary for all life on Earth — remove toxins from the air, and create habitat for animals, insects and more basic forms of life. Well-managed forest plantations like those overseen by the Forest Stewardship Council also furnish us with wood, a renewable material that can be used for building, furniture, paper products and more, and all of which are biodegradable at the end of their lifecycle."

From https://www.google.com/search?source=hp ... VesrVUrfpk
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 12 May 2018, 11:03:08

dohboi wrote:Good points about urban trees, vt. As I understand it, just the air pollution can take quite a toll on them as well.

And good to hear that you are seeing some re-forestation in your area.

Unfortunately this does not seem to be the case globally:

Global tree cover loss nears all-time high

http://www.wri.org/news/2015/09/release ... d-hotspots

This is a couple years old, though, so if anyone has time to track down more recent stats, it would be much appreciated. Right now, my gardens are calling me! :-D

From the link above.:
UMD and Google’s new data measures tree cover loss, using satellites to see all types of clearing and death of trees for all types of tree cover, from tropical rainforests to boreal forests and plantations at high resolution. These data do not account for tree cover gain, which is another important dynamic affecting forest landscapes worldwide. The new data was made possible through free public access to satellite imagery provided by the U.S. Geological Survey Landsat program, in partnership with NASA.

If they are only counting losses and not the gains how accurate a picture of the situation are they giving you?
Of course it would not be in their interest to report that things are getting better even if that is the case.
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 12 May 2018, 11:18:47

vt - I believe the correct term for using that approach is "cherry picking." LOL
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 12 May 2018, 11:51:22

dohboi wrote:Global tree cover loss nears all-time high

http://www.wri.org/news/2015/09/release ... d-hotspots

This is a couple years old, though, so if anyone has time to track down more recent stats, it would be much appreciated. Right now, my gardens are calling me! :-D

You misrepresent the linked data. It refers to "tropical hot spots" (whatever that means?), not a global measure. In truth tree cover worldwide has increased tremendously.
“The greening over the past 33 years reported in this study is equivalent to adding a green continent about two‑times the size of mainland USA (18 million km2), and has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system,” says lead author Dr. Zaichun Zhu.


That's a net increase (minus urban loss) of 295,209,615 acres per year.
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby dohboi » Sat 12 May 2018, 12:49:46

Another more recent source:

About half of the world's tropical forests have been cleared, according to the FAO.
Forests currently cover about 30 percent of the world’s landmass, according to National Geographic.
The Earth loses 18.7 million acres of forests per year, which is equal to 27 soccer fields every minute, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
It is estimated that 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation, according to the WWF.
In 2016, global tree cover loss reached a record of 73.4 million acres (29.7 million hectares), according to the University of Maryland.


https://www.livescience.com/27692-deforestation.html

p's link says nothing about forest in particular, which is the focus of this thread, so is irrelevant as it stands (and seems to be part of p's obsession with carbon fertilization).

If someone can show me legitimate, recent sources that show that global forest cover has increased over the last few decades, I would be interested. Thanks.

Edit to add--a more scholarly but slightly older source:

global forest loss (2.3 million square kilometers) and gain (0.8 million square kilometers) from 2000 to 2012


http://science.sciencemag.org/content/342/6160/850

More recent:

forests occupy just under 4 billion ha, with the world's forest area declining by 129 million ha in the period 1990 to 2015


http://oro.open.ac.uk/48873/
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 12 May 2018, 13:55:23

So.... my 168 acres of forest I’m sitting on, protecting from cutting, does that buy me an indulgence? Am I net carbon positive or negative?
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 12 May 2018, 14:28:22

dohboi wrote:p's link says nothing about forest in particular, which is the focus of this thread, so is irrelevant as it stands (and seems to be part of p's obsession with carbon fertilization).

If someone can show me legitimate, recent sources that show that global forest cover has increased over the last few decades, I would be interested. Thanks.

I have linked to the Zhu study many times for you. This is all we really need to know:
25 to 50 per cent of all vegetated areas of the land have become greener, only 4 per cent have become browner.

All vegetated areas includes forest tropical and temperate, tundra, grasslands and desert (especially desert).

Here's another study specifically dryland forest increase
https://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/05/1 ... -the-world
Recent global analysis of the Earth’s drylands has discovered 467 million hectares of unreported forested areas — or roughly seven times the size of Texas — located in drylands across the world. The discovery has lent more credence to the theory that increasing levels of man-made CO2 emissions are actually helping to increase global greening.

The study, conducted by biologists Andrew Lowe and Ben Sparrow as well as 28 other co-authors, used modern high-resolution satellite imagery via Google Earth Engine to map 210,000 drylands. This high-resolution imagery allowed biologists to discover that forests cover a whopping 9 percent more of the world than previously thought.


dohboi, you seem to get a giddy satisfaction from presenting bad news. Does it make you feel important? Does this constant posting employ you? Who cares really. But it should be clear by now that you do not control who or what is discussed in a particular thread.

It is sad for the city folks 175,000 acres of urban forest are destroyed annually. But it is happy that 295 million acres of new vegetated cover (including forests) are added annually across the globe.
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 14 May 2018, 14:26:56

Newfie wrote:So.... my 168 acres of forest I’m sitting on, protecting from cutting, does that buy me an indulgence? Am I net carbon positive or negative?

In a rational world with a big CO2 tax, it seems to me it should get you a significant tax credit -- especially if you sign up to protect that land in a trust guaranteeing no major development, as some people do (and get tax benefits for that, though I don't know the details of that).

I suppose that at least someone who gets paid to let loggers take a bunch of trees, at least they pay some tax on the income. But they SHOULD pay a CO2 tax on all those trees lost, unless they replace those trees with new trees.

And I know -- our world isn't anything remotely approaching rational, overall.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 14 May 2018, 14:42:39

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
Newfie wrote:So.... my 168 acres of forest I’m sitting on, protecting from cutting, does that buy me an indulgence? Am I net carbon positive or negative?

In a rational world with a big CO2 tax, it seems to me it should get you a significant tax credit -- especially if you sign up to protect that land in a trust guaranteeing no major development, as some people do (and get tax benefits for that, though I don't know the details of that).

I suppose that at least someone who gets paid to let loggers take a bunch of trees, at least they pay some tax on the income. But they SHOULD pay a CO2 tax on all those trees lost, unless they replace those trees with new trees.

And I know -- our world isn't anything remotely approaching rational, overall.

Except for clear cutting that is converted to grazing land or housing projects most timber harvests are promptly replaced by natural regrowth. You soon get a complete canopy of leaves growing as fast as they can trying to beat out the competition from the trees beside them.
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 14 May 2018, 19:42:14

Well yes, but the carbon is removed from the forest and used in building and paper and such. That’s the carbons pathway interest the environment. If the trees are left to grow, die, rot substantial fractions of the carbon become tied up in the earth.
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 14 May 2018, 20:21:48

Newfie wrote:Well yes, but the carbon is removed from the forest and used in building and paper and such. That’s the carbons pathway interest the environment. If the trees are left to grow, die, rot substantial fractions of the carbon become tied up in the earth.

The carbon in the lumber of a house frame stays in it until the house is burned or torn down. The carbon in paper stays in a file cabinet until it goes to the shredder and land fill. Eventually it all gets to rot somewhere just not next to the stump it came from.
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 15 May 2018, 05:42:51

Or burned. Like we need more landfills anyway. And they cap those and extract the gasses for fuel.

No, better to leave it on the forest floor where it was intended to be.
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 15 May 2018, 06:59:22

Newfie wrote:Well yes, but the carbon is removed from the forest and used in building and paper and such. That’s the carbons pathway interest the environment. If the trees are left to grow, die, rot substantial fractions of the carbon become tied up in the earth.


You beat me too it. A long time ago I saw a study on how much wood fiber we have stored in old land fills, mostly from junk mail and newspapers that were buried from the 1950's to present in tightly sealed landfills where the fibrous wood pulp can't decay effectively. Even the methanogenic bacteria that decay cellulose in swampy environments lack the water needed as a reaction medium to do their biological business and decay things.

By the same token all those old days landfills that accepted yard waste stored a lot of carbon as well. Just think about all those grass clippings and gathered fall leaves that are buried in huge dumps outside Chicago and Detroit and Pittsburgh! From time to time I have even wondered if all that long chain biological carbon we buried in North America before certain groups fomented for composting programs helped depress the growth rate for atmospheric CO2. Just think about those billions of copies of the NYT that have been buried around the Northeast USA in the last go years. That has to add up to a lot of tons of interred carbon and long delayed CO2 release. Even if you just bury something in the bare ground without landfill engineering to prevent water intrusion if it is more than 3 meters/10 feet deep and the soil is undisturbed the rate of decay is much slower than people realize. The trick is, oxygen flow is highly restricted and there is no sunlight, while temperatures stay very constant at temperatures that average the year around local mean. In the tropics that temperature is about 75 degrees, but in the temperate zones where most of the waste has been buried the last half century the temperature is about 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Up into lower Canada a city like Edmonton has soil that sits around refrigerator temperature another ten degrees cooler still.
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Re: The War On Trees

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 15 May 2018, 07:07:24

As an example of that Tanada when my town closed it's small landfill back in the late 1990s we had to move a lot of the old fill to get to the required slopes. While doing that we were digging up old newspapers from 1968 that you could still read the stories on.
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