Magazine article American Forests

Letters

Magazine article American Forests

Letters

Article excerpt

YOUR MEMBER-TO-MEMBER COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK

RECORD LOCAL TREE TREASURES

Editor: It is always depressing to read about the loss of another significant tree ("Champ Dethroned in Arizona," Autumn 2005). Although a Champion Tree can be replaced on the list in many cases, the loss of a Historic or Heritage tree is an irreplaceable loss.

Consider finding, recognizing, tracking, photographing, and bragging about your local trees while they exist. These local "treasures" must be recognized and preserved in perpetuity for future generations. To learn how and why it is important, please visit: www.texastreetrails.org. It will be worth a moment of your time and you will be glad you did! The merits of the project warrant consideration and acceptance by the public.

Steve Houser

Via e-mail

KATRINA RELEAF

AMERICAN FORESTS: Hello from the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted at Mary Baldwin College! The Program for the Exceptionally Gifted offers an opportunity for bright young women to complete college during their high school years on the Staunton, Virginia, campus of Mary Baldwin College. I just wanted to contact you to let you know that our program is raising money to donate to your Katrina ReLeaf Fund.

Our college's mascot is Gladys the Fighting Squirrel, and next week is Squirrel Awareness Week. Two of our students have designed a squirrel teeshirt that we will sell on campus, and the proceeds will be donated to Katrina ReLeaf. Good luck with your wonderful project, and please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help.

Christy Baker

Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA

NON-NATIVE SPECIES SHOULDN'T BE IN CITIES

Editor: AMERICAN FORESTS has been soliciting donations to revitalize Urban Forestry. I, as a private landowner, consider Urban Forestry as the biggest threat to our native forests, at least here in the Midwest. Cities do not want and do not plant native trees. Having been a partner in a tree-moving business with a truck-mounted tree spade, 1 can only recall moving one hickory tree (native) out of approximately 1,000 trees.

Here in Wisconsin, October and November are good times to view the takeover of roadsides and native forest understory, because while the leaves of our native trees have either fallen or turned color, buckthorn leaves are still green. This is a perfect example of an invasive shrub-like tree planted abundantly in the cities that is taking over much of our native forests.

While our native black locust is on the list of invasive native species, exotic varieties of locust are being intensely planted in the cities. Another invasive, amur maple (USDA release), is a favorite because of its colorful leaves and seeds. None of our native trees including boxelder are loaded with winged seeds like this USDA release.

Ironically, invasive non-native trees and shrubs are not taken into consideration when being certified for sustainability as many of our state forests are overrun with invasive plants and trees that have been certified. I would hate to see what our forest will look like 25 years from now. They should be colorful.

Not only does our state issue grants to the cities for the planting of exotic and invasive non-native trees but the state also subsidized the nurseries that grow them with grants for fencing and deer damage. For me as a native forest owner and planter, donating money for exotic trees for cities is out of the question. …

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