1.. Forest are systems where trees and many other communities of organisms
are connected in ways that ensure high quality survival for all..
2.. The growth of the chipping industries tells you something about the
condition of our forest trees.
3.. There are so many roads in our forests that you could never get lost.
4.. The grass, tree problem is not only a city one; it is common in parks
and forests as the sides of roads are seeded.
5.. What are forest ecosystems? Forests are ecosystems!
6.. The self-thinning rule of ecology states that on a given site, as some
trees increase in mass, the number of trees on the site decreases. As some
of the trees die, their exudates increase and benefit soil microorganisms.
This process has high survival value in a forest, but may not be effective
in cities where individual trees are removed as they die.
7.. Forests can heal, trees cannot.
8.. Before Robert Hartig, people believed that decay caused fungi. Hartig
showed that fungi caused decay. The simple reversal of words set the stage
for the science of forest pathology.
9.. The Mississippi Valley Laboratory in St. Louis was established in
1899. Dr. Herman von Schrenk was the director. Studies on wood decay and
discoloration were done mostly. In time, the studies drifted toward wood
products. In 1907 the lab was discontinued and the Forest Products
Laboratory at Madison, Wisconsin took over. The major focus of the lab was
on wood products decay. Tree biology never had a chance.
10.. Ectomycorrhizal fungi often are the major inhabitants of conifer
11.. Hyphae from mycorrhizae on one tree can connect with hyphae from
mycorrhizae from another tree of a different species. The grand forest
12.. Did you know there is a big push now to try to replace wood framing
in houses with steel framing ? Think of the consequences this will have, if
it happens, on the forest industries.
13.. Wounds are all too common on trees growing in cities, parks, forests,
14.. Hemlock trees will often be seen growing in straight lines in the
forest because the seeds germinated on top of an old log. Hemlock seed
rarely grows where there are old hemlock needles. This is also why large
hemlock trees have prop-type roots. The seeds germinated on the cut stump of
another tree. So we need nurslogs for hemlock saplings.
15.. Spider heart is a common feature in forest trees, especially white
oaks. As the first crack forms, other cracks form that equalize the loading.
Rarely will there be only one major crack or seam in a forest tree. Wetwood
lubricates the cracks,
16.. In cold climates, winter ice injury can cause serious injuries. The
same three part program given for hurricane injury should be done for
ice-injured trees. In forests, the ice-injured trees add much needed carbon
as cellulose for soil organisms. Forest practices during the last several
decades have removed so much cellulose that I believe soil organisms are
17.. I have seen the best man could make for you and me. Then I went into
the forest and touched a tree.
18.. In spite of abiotic destructive forces and biotic agents such as
insects, bacteria, and fungi, humans still rank as the major destructive
agent for trees in forests and cities. Ignorance of tree biology is a major
cause of this.
19.. Why do people often say "our trees," "our world," "our forest," etc.?
Who gave them to us? The philosophy of Native Americans was that the natural
world belonged to all, and we were all responsible for its care. What
happened to that?
20.. Before women came to forestry, we called a tree or branch that was so
weak that it could fall, a widow maker. Now what should we call them?
21.. Forestry was founded on the basis of getting the wood out, not on
understanding the tree.
22.. The increases in wood chipping industries say something about the
quality of wood in many forest trees.
23.. The focus of the Forest Products Laboratory that started in 1907 was
on products, not on biology.
24.. MANY FORESTRY ISSUES ARE ADDRESSED HERE:
25.. Myth: TREES ARE SO BIG AND TOUGH NOTHING CAN INJURE THEM! Trees in
cities and forests worldwide are being mutilated, and many are dying because
of abuses by people and their activities.
26.. Myth: TREES ARE A NATURAL RENEWABLE RESOURCE. KEEP CUTTING. THEY
WILL GROW BACK JUST AS THEY WERE. Yes, some trees in forests should be cut
for the needs of people. But, better
management schemes are needed to ensure a continuing supply of high
quality trees and to ensure that all connected members of the natural
systems continue to survive in a high quality state.
27.. Myth: FORESTS ARE GROUPS OF TREES. Forests are highly ordered
connections of many living communities with trees. The connections ensure
survival of the trees and their associates.
28.. Myth . THERE ARE NO GIRDLING ROOTS IN THE FOREST. Yes, there are
girdling roots in the forest but you must go into the forest
to see them!
29.. Myth : ALL THE AMERICAN CHESTNUT TREES ARE GONE. The great forests of
chestnut trees are gone, but not the tree. Many trees
are still growing, but most are reduced to multiple clumps where the stems
are seldom over 32.5 feet (10 meters high). Some much larger trees are
still alive, but their numbers are few compared to the old forest.
30.. Myth: FIRE IS BENEFICIAL. FIRE IS DESTRUCTIVE. The answer is yes!
Some forests have developed with fire as a beneficial agent. Cones of some
pines open only after a fire. Other forests have not developed with fire,
and fires in such forests can be very destructive. On the steep slopes of
the Appalachian mountains, fire is very destructive. An added destructive
feature is that the fires ignite old coal mines, and piles of low grade coal
left behind from past mining. In western forests more big wood should be
left after logging. The wood will hold water and keep soils stable. Also,
the big wood provides excellent sites at the soil line for mycorrhizae
during dry periods.
31.. Myth: ALL TREES START LIFE IN THE SOIL.
In the tropical and temperate rain forests, many trees start life on other
trees, and then the roots grow downward. Many species of Ficus are known as
stranglers because they start their growth on other trees and slowly
strangle the host as the roots grow downward to the soil.
32.. Myth: SEEDING ROAD CUTS IN FORESTS WITH GRASS IS A BENEFICIAL
It may be beneficial for erosion control, but grass in a forest is not
beneficial for trees. Grass roots will often grow deeper than absorbing
roots of trees.
33.. Forestry, urban forestry, fruit production and even bonsai, all
belong under the heading of arboriculture. They all deal with trees. The
care of trees.
34.. Many other points on forest can be found in the litterture by Alex L.
Shigo at www.shigoandtrees.com
35.. ..dying and symplastless wood provides one of the two or three
greatest resources for animal species in a natural forest. ..if fallen
timber and slightly decayed trees are removed the whole system is gravely
impoverished of perhaps more than a fifth of its fauna (Maser and Trappe,
1984). ( The USFS calls removal (killing) - "reforestation")
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology.
Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us
that we are not the boss.