trees

Trees, Please
9:05 am
Thu June 26, 2014

PURA Issues Final Decision on Tree Trimming

A resident holds up a "Trees Please" sign during a public hearing on "enhanced tree-trimming" in March.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Connecticut has a lot of trees. Our state leads the nation on this piece of technical jargon from the state forester, "woodland urban interface tree density." That means two things -- one: Connecticut has a lot of old, towering, trees -- and two, when major storms, like the ones in 2011 and 2012, hit those trees can be really vulnerable.

Read more
Magicicada
12:20 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

The Fate of Connecticut Cicadas, One Year Later

In 2013, Connecticut played host to a patchy emergence of 17-year periodical cicadas. The bugs are now holed up underground as nymphs.
Creative Commons

Last June, Connecticut played host to an emergence of periodical 17-year cicadas. For many, promises of bug swarms covering neighborhoods never came to pass.

For others, in places like Meriden and North Branford, millions of cicadas did take over, lining roads, trees, and mailboxes. One year later, I met up with an entomologist to see what those bugs have left behind.

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
11:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

The Eastern Hemlock is Dying

David Foster is the director of Harvard University's Harvard Forest, the author of Thoreau's Country: Journey Through a Transformed Landscape, and editor of Hemlock: A Forest Giant on the Edge
Chion Wolf

You have to trust us. 

Because I realize that a show about the Eastern Hemlock doesn't sound that sexy. In fact, we've done tree shows in the past after which I have said, "Let's not do any more tree shows." But we think we've got something here. 

First of all, this our third show working with Bob Sullivan, a writer who, in the past, has been able to make just about any topic exciting. Second, this is a story with a villain, a cottony, crawling, feeding life form called the wooly adelgid. You want something you can hate without the tiniest tremor of remorse? We're going to give it to you. 

Third, this little villain is striking right at a major player in the natural cycles that can either slow or accelerate climate change. Fourth, we're going to be talking about the souls of trees. Trust us. 

Read more
O Mycelium!
8:43 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Connecticut's Growing Role in Mushroom Cultivation

Logs drilled, plugged with mushroom spawn, and coated with wax.
Patrick Skahill WNPR

Last month, Governor Dannel Malloy announced more than $880,327 in state grants for dozens of Connecticut farms. Among the recipients is a farmer in Higganum looking to fill 1,000 logs with many more mushrooms.

Read more
It's Spring. Now Sneeze.
4:29 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Cold Winter Means Healthy Trees -- and Pollen

A red maple in bloom.
Benny Mazur Creative Commons

Now that the long winter is over, spring is here. So is tree pollen.

Read more
Amber Robust
12:32 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

By Any Other Name, Does Vermont's Maple Syrup Taste As Sweet?

Vermont has dropped the old system of grading of maple syrup in favor of a new plan that names both color and flavor.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 5:59 pm

At Green's Sugarhouse in Poultney, Vt., visitors are gathered around four squeeze bottles of maple syrup, sampling the each under brand-new labels.

Vermont recently replaced its syrup grading system and now uses new names that make different syrups sound more like wine or expensive coffee.

Gone is the former system, with names like "Fancy," "Grade A Dark Amber" and "Grade B." The new labels give both the color — "Golden," "Amber" or "Dark" — and a flavor description: "Delicate," "Rich," "Robust" or "Strong."

Read more
Tree Trimming
2:10 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Despite PURA Request, Utilities Want to Keep Trimming

A resident holds up a "Trees Please" sign during a public hearing on "enhanced tree-trimming" earlier this month.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Last week, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority called for a "voluntary suspension" of so-called "enhanced tree-trimming" around the state. United Illuminating and CL&P quickly filed formal responses and -- surprise -- they both want to keep trimming.

Read more
Tree Trimming
4:30 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

For Tree-Trimming Opponents, a Victory, at Least for Now

A well-loved tree in Hamden, Conn.
Credit Contributed Photo

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority is calling for a suspension of "enhanced tree trimming" around the state. It's a decision following months of public outcry.

Read more
Resilient Bugs
3:23 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Invasive Bugs in Connecticut May Be Adapting to Extreme Winters

A live hemlock woolly adelgid in the spring. This winter's extreme cold has reduced population numbers statewide, but there is evidence that bugs in the northwest corner of the state are becoming more cold-weather resistant.
Credit Carole Cheah / Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

Scientists say this winter's extreme cold is having a limited impact on the state's invasive bugs, and it may even be making one insect stronger. It's called the hemlock woolly adelgid, and it was first identified in Connecticut in 1985.

Read more
Tree Science
11:42 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Can Science Develop Stronger Trees in Connecticut?

Scientists at UConn are researching how to build more wind-resistant trees in the roadside forests near power lines. It's part of a quest to stave off large-scale power outages in the wake of storms.
Chion Wolf / WNPR

As United Illuminating continues revisions on its ambitious tree-cutting plan, a group of scientists at UConn is studying why trees fail, and how they can be made stronger.

Read more
Utilities
6:01 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Officials Delay Decision On Fate of UI's Ambitious Tree-Cutting Plan

A downed power line following an ice storm in 2011.
Chion Wolf / WNPR

According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, PURA will now delay their decision on United Illuminating's ambitious tree-cutting plan past Wednesday, January 29, due to a public hearing request from UI to discuss "technical issues."

Read more
Now You Know
3:27 am
Thu January 16, 2014

An Old Tree Doesn't Get Taller, But Bulks Up Like A Bodybuilder

The world's biggest trees, such as this large Scots pine in Spain's Sierra de Baza range, are also the world's fastest-growing trees, according to an analysis of 403 tree species spanning six continents.
Asier Herrero Nature

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 9:12 am

Like other animals and many living things, we humans grow when we're young and then stop growing once we mature. But trees, it turns out, are an exception to this general rule. In fact, scientists have discovered that trees grow faster the older they get.

Once trees reach a certain height, they do stop getting taller. So many foresters figured that tree growth — and girth — also slowed with age.

Read more
Invasive Insects
9:44 am
Sat January 11, 2014

The Upside Of The Bitter Cold: It Kills Bugs That Kill Trees

Tom Tiddens, supervisor of plant health care at the Chicago Botanic Garden, displays bark with beetle larvae.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:19 pm

While many of us may prefer to never again see temperatures drop below zero like they did earlier this week across the country, the deep freeze is putting warm smiles on the faces of many entomologists.

That's because it may have been cold enough in some areas to freeze and kill some damaging invasive species of insects, including the tree-killing emerald ash borer.

Read more
Nice Carotenoids, Bro
7:00 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Why Do Leaves Change Color and Fall Off Trees?

New England's red and yellow leaves are a great opportunity to talk about carotenoids, anthocyanins, and the chemistry in your backyard.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons, jerry mercier

If you're driving through Connecticut, you've probably noticed a lot of colors on your commute. Fall foliage has been on full display these last few weeks, with reds, oranges, and yellows covering trees all over New England. You may even have spent your weekend raking leaves up. But have you ever stopped to consider why leaves change color? Or how they fall off trees? 

Read more
Urban Forest
12:36 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Hartford to Plant 1,000 Trees

The city of Hartford loses a few hundred trees each year. But now, in a partnership with a local non-profit, the city is poised to plant 1,000 new trees this fall. The goal is to plant 20,000 trees over the next ten years.  It's an ambitious program that began last year with the first 1,000 trees planted.  Now, the city wants to spend $425,000 to keep things going.

Read more
Take a Hike!
9:15 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Appalachian Trail in Connecticut Gets Renewed Agreement for Maintenance

Scott Lawler (Flickr Creative Commons)

Hikers visiting the Appalachian Trail this summer may not realize how much coordination goes into maintaining the 2,180-mile trail that winds through 14 states.

A memorandum of understanding was signed in Connecticut earlier this summer to outline just how coordination on the Appalachian Trail will occur over the next ten years. It was signed by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Department of Community and Economic Development, the State Police, and the Department of Transportation.

Read more
Beetle Under Bark
12:31 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Emerald Ash Borer Creeps Towards Connecticut

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Creative Commons)

Connecticut's Ash Trees have been spared infestation from an invasive insect so far this summer. But trees along the New York border with Connecticut haven't been as lucky.

Read more
Where We Live
9:33 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Imagine Your Town Without Trees

Chion Wolf

After a series of bad storms, Governor Dannel Malloy declared a “War on Trees!” Or, at least, that’s what it seemed like at the time. The governor was reacting to the hundreds of thousands of power outages caused by downed trees after a tropical storm and a freakish October snowstorm.

In his defense of more aggressive tree-cutting he coined this signature phrase: “Trees grow, ladies and gentlemen of the state of Connecticut, they grow.”

Read more
'Tis the Season
9:52 am
Fri December 23, 2011

O Christmas Tree - Locally Grown, Of Course!

Harriet Jones

December’s a pretty intense month for many people – but imagine if you were a Christmas tree farmer.  As this busy season comes to a close, WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited Staehly’s Tree Farm in East Haddam to find out what kind of a year this has been for the state’s tree growers.

“Hi there… how are you….”

Read more
Trees
11:22 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Connecticut and Trees: Is the Love Affair Over?

Harriet Jones

Most storm clouds have a silver lining, and the freak October snowfall was no exception. Connecticut’s tree companies have work ahead of them for many, many months. 

In Vernon, Sue Peterson is surveying the scene of devastation in her front yard.

“It was huge Norway maple. Huge, huge tree.”

She was in the dark after her power failed on the Saturday night of the storm.

Read more
Environment
12:41 pm
Fri November 4, 2011

Tree Expo In The Midst Of "Arbor-geddon"

Harriet Jones

The foremost experts in the tree care industry have gathered in Hartford this week, just as the state’s power system is devastated by snow damage to trees. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Just as chain saws are being fired up and tree crews are working round the clock across Connecticut, delegates from all over the country flocked to Hartford Thursday for the annual Tree Care Industry Association conference. Mark Garvin is President of the Association. He says attendance is down this year.

Read more
Where We Live
1:44 pm
Fri June 10, 2011

The Future Of Our Forests

notfrancois, creative commons

Read more
Maple Syrup
9:19 am
Fri May 27, 2011

Lots of Snow Makes For Good Maple Syrup Year

Serri Graslie/WNPR

Abnormal snowfall this winter may have made the season a pain for many Connecticut residents, but it's shaping up to be a boon for local maple syrup producers. Area farmers have sap flows they haven't seen in years.

Ron Wenzel's sugar house is a little oasis each winter

"My wife calls this my man cave; I'm up here for 10, 12 days," he says.

Read more
Invasive Species
2:18 pm
Thu May 19, 2011

On the Lookout for a Tree-Eating Invasive

takomabibelot, Flickr Creative Commons

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect from Asia that has killed more than 50 million ash trees in the U.S. in the past decade. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is setting more than 60,000 traps in 48 states, including Connecticut, to look for the beetle. 

Read more