Tag Archives: Arb Issues

Less Carbon Dioxide Absorbed by Amazon as Trees Die Off – Part One

Less Carbon Dioxide Absorbed by Amazon as Trees Die Off
Less Carbon Dioxide Absorbed by Amazon as Trees Die Off

A 30 year study has revealed that the Amazon long absorbed more carbon than it releases and it suggests that the trees and leaves are losing ability to effectively suck up the excess carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere by human activities.

The study shows that Increased mortality rate is the main reason for this with an increase by more than a third since the mid-1980s.

Carbon dioxide is necessary for photosynthesis to take place … the rather cool way that plants convert light into energy.

Oliver Phillips, professor of tropical ecology at the University of Leeds in England and a co-author of the study says that “because they take up a significant amount of our carbon-dioxide emissions. This is a first indication that the process is saturating”.

The Amazon is roughly 15 times the size of California and accounts for at least half the Global tropical Forrest area and with over 300 hundred billion trees store one fifth of all carbon in the earth’s biomass.

Each year, we humans contribute 35 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and while a quarter is thought to be absorbed by the water masses (the oceans), a quarter is absorbed by the forests and trees the remaining half is thought to be the main forces of the man-made climate change.

While the increase in our planets emissions of carbon-dioxide fuelled and surged the growth of the rain forests tress, sadly it has also decreased their life time and increased the trees’ death rate.

Researchers Create Supersized Trees

Just as Ian Morgan Arb storms into another busy few months with a wide range of Arboricultural Training Courses running weekly, Experts at Manchester University think that they have found a way to make the demand for good Arborists even higher.

By Altering two genes to accelerate growth in some trees, experts feel that this finding could help crop production and renewable energy.

A researcher at the University said “This needs to be tested but offers a potential way forward for one of the most pressing challenges of the day.”

PXY and CLE are the genes associated with the growth of cells within the tree trunk. Research found that when overstimulated the trees grew twice as fast, with thicker and wider trunk and more leaves.

With accelerated growth of trees and a boost in biomass energy this research could start to make some headway on the effects of Client Change.

Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/scientists-create-bigger-faster-growing-trees-5540098

Your options for dealing with a Chalara infection

Beneficiaries of our Staffordshire arb training contemplating how to address a Chalara-affected area have several options, depending on the exact location and nature of the infection.

The preferred option is generally burning on site, either on the ground or in mobile incinerators brought to site, the latter likely to be chosen due to their practicality for dealing with a large volume of leaves. Those considering this option are urged to check the relevant legislation on smoke control areas, in addition to taking into account the possible smoke nuisance risk.

Alternatively, one may bury infected leaves in the grounds of their premises. Although ground burial can be done by both private individuals and local authorities, in the latter case, it would constitute a landfill operation requiring an environmental permit, in accordance with the Landfill Directive.

Other possible approaches are less proven in their efficacy. This could certainly be said of composting on site, the lack of scientific evidence for its effectiveness meaning that any arborist training recipients contemplating it are advised to spread any resulting compost on or near the infected source wherever possible. This is as opposed to passing the compost onto third parties who may transport it elsewhere and thereby risk the spread of infection.

Another less preferred option is off-site incineration or landfill. We would always advise against the movement of infected ash leaves for purposes other than destruction. Even if leaves from affected areas cannot be dealt with on-site, secure containment of the transported waste – whether by placing it in enclosed containers or bagging – is necessary. Any transportation of leaves for incineration should also be for the shortest possible distance.

Nor would we recommend off-site composting and other biological treatment, given the uncertainty surrounding the right conditions for destroying the Chalara fraxinea fungus. Any potential residual risk can, however, be minimised if the resultant compost is only used locally.

If an area is not infected at all – and the distribution of Chalara’s spread is by no means even throughout the country – there is no need to remove the leaves, they instead able to be left where they fall.

Talk to Ian Morgan Arb today about arb training in Staffordshire that will educate you on the full range of means for addressing any Chalara infection of your vegetation.

Forwarder overturning incident fortunate not to result in injury

Arb Safety NewsAs a leading provider of arboricultural training, our attention was recently caught by news, as communicated in a Safety Bulletin issued by Scottish Woodlands, of a forwarder overturning, an incident that we are fortunate to report did not cause any injuries.

That is all the more remarkable given that the operator of the machine involved – a Valmet 865 – was not wearing his seat restraint, causing him to fall within the cab, breaking a window in the process. The machine was fitted with double band tracks and was carrying a full load of 3.7m logs when it overturned.

While the machine operator was remarkably unhurt, using the door to leave the cab, there can be no doubt that this incident was a near miss – and that it gives much for the recipients of Staffordshire arborist training to learn from.

A one-way loop system was being used to extract the timber that was involved in the incident, having been successfully used on other parts of the same and similar sites by the same harvesting team. The agreed working method entailed the part-loading of the forwarder on the 30 degree slope of the steeper upper sections, prior to topping up to the full load on the lower sections. Unloading then took place at the loading bay, followed by the forwarder’s move back to the top of the loop.

On this occasion, however, a full timber load had been taken on by the operator at the site’s top steepest section. The machine was rendered unstable by the stacking of the load up tight against the bunk head, which was set in the forward position. Greater stability would have been ensured if the bunk head had been set further back, given how much more evenly the load’s weight would have sat over the back wheels.

The operator’s failure to watch/monitor the bunk section while driving forward down the hill meant that the rear section was allowed to snag and drag on a pile of brash, resulting in the tipping of the bunk, which took the cab over with it.

Not only is the Valmet 865 fitted with glass front windscreens, side and door windows that can be broken to allow their use as emergency exits, but the rear windows are also Margard/Safety glass, giving the operator protection during the loading/unloading process.

At the very least, there is a lesson to be learned of the importance of operators always wearing a seat restraint to hold them in the centre of their cab in the event of their machine overturning.

How Chalara-infected ash trees may be managed in various circumstances

Students of arboricultural training in Staffordshire or elsewhere are advised to familiarise themselves with the wide range of circumstances and settings in which Chalara-infected ash trees often need to be managed.
You may, for example, wish to carry out works on trees that are protected by tree preservation orders (TPOs) and conservation areas (CAs), in which case, it will first be necessary to contact the Tree Officer in your local Planning Office, clearly specifying the trees involved and their locations. You will also need to describe the extent of the work that you are interested in carrying out, in addition to the reasons why you would like to carry out the work. This application will then be considered by the Tree Officer.
Ash trees on development sites may also require management, with any tree survey intended to support a planning application needing to include the categorisation of trees according to the criteria shown in Table 1 of British Standard 5837:2012. This is for the purpose of identifying the existing tree stock’s quality and value, so that informed decisions can be made with regard to the removal or retention of trees in the event of development work.
Deadwood can also occur in infected ash trees that are on or adjacent to highways and footpaths, posing a potential health and safety risk. This makes it crucial for trees in such a setting to be managed in a manner that places the emphasis on public safety, ensuring that action is proportionate so that there is no unnecessary pruning or felling. Safety considerations will be at the discretion of the relevant Highways Authority, taking priority with regard to the management of ash trees close to the highway.
Similar principles apply to ash trees in parks, public spaces and heritage sites, as well as on private property that is not woodland or protected by a TPO or CA. Meanwhile, when a site is home to significant ancient, veteran or isolated trees with particular merit, best practice is to clear away and dispose of nearby leaf litter during the autumn, so that the trees are best-protected from infection.
Finally, some trees – particularly those that are mature, stressed and/or damaged – provide various roosting opportunities for bats. The legal protection of bats and their roosts from disturbance, damage or destruction – even when bats are not actually present at the time the work takes place – makes it vital for a survey to be carried out establishing that the given tree is not being used as a bat roost.

An introduction to Chalara

Chalara infection Tree DiseaseThere’s no question of the extent to which Chalara dieback of ash – also known as ash dieback or just Chalara – represents a  bane to the lives of many of those receiving arb training in Staffordshire. This fungal disease affects ash trees, causing crown dieback, leaf loss and bark lesions. Even worse is that it is usually either directly or indirectly fatal to trees, due to the weakened tree’s consequent vulnerability to pests or pathogens.

Chalara has been responsible for the infection and death of a significant proportion of Europe’s ash trees, and since its initial discovery in the UK in nursery stock in 2009, it has become prevalent among ash trees in woods, hedges, plantations, parkland and urban areas, particularly in Eastern England. It is thought that infections first began to occur here due to fungus spores being carried on the wind from planted nursery stock on the continent.

With Chalara now well-established in Britain, all chances of the disease being eradicated from here are remote. Ultimately, most of the country’s ash trees will be infected by the disease, in a manner akin to Dutch Elm Disease in the 1970s. Ash trees with the disease can pose a major risk to people and property if they are not suitably managed by landowners.

As a recipient of arb training in Staffordshire, it is important for you to carry out regular surveys of ash trees so that you can take appropriate action. There are certain ways of minimising Chalara’s presence and rate of spread so that you can maximise the amount of genetic diversity in your ash trees and ensure as little compromise as possible to associated species, general biodiversity and timber production. Above all else, the right management will help to preserve ash in the long term.

While ash trees can have certain undesirable effects such as damaging property or risking human safety, they can also be an immensely valuable part of the overall urban, suburban and rural landscape. Where the management of ash trees is advisable, getting this process right will help to enhance the trees’ value, access and other advantages. Deadwood, for example, is not merely a hazard, but also a vital ecological attribute that is depended on by many species.

Ash trees should be retained where possible, in accordance with national guidance. Such trees should not be felled or pruned merely due to the likelihood of Chalara infection, as should be noted by anyone in Staffordshire who takes advantage of arb training.