Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Our poor trees

Frank Ford sent me an article from USA Today entitled "Trees dying by millions across country". It's due largely to global warming, of course. Here, take a look:

DENVER -- Some of the country's most treasured tree species are under attack by insects and diseases in a growing assault coast to coast.

From ash and aspen to white pine, millions of trees are succumbing to lethal bugs and fungi. Some are foreign pests brought to this country in cargo or by travelers. Others are home-grown insects in epidemic numbers because of drought and weather changes.

"We're at one of those points in time where it's all happening at once," says Wayne Shepperd of the U.S. Forest Service in Fort Collins, Colo.

The native mountain pine beetle has ravaged millions of acres of Western forests. Trees were weakened by drought or subjected to worse infestations because warmer temperatures enabled the bugs to multiply faster. The emerald ash borer from Asia is killing species that have no natural defenses.
California's scenic Big Sur region and Sonoma and Humboldt counties have seen "tons of new mortality this year" from sudden oak death, says Katie Palmieri of the California Oak Mortality Task Force. "Entire hillsides are just gone."

When are we going to learn that the web of life is very intricate and that all things are connected?

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