Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Arbor Day 2014 in New York State

Introducing some new life here at the ranch, but sadly they simply replace some five-year-old spruce tree deaths.

New York State celebrates National Arbor Day, both festive observations being the last Friday in April. So last Friday, April 25, 2014 we did our annual tree-planting thing. This year only a couple dozen trees were planted, a dozen Black Cherry hardwoods and a dozen or so evergreen Norway Spruce. The Spruce trees were replacements -- new trees to take the place of Norway Spruce lost since last fall. It is not known what is killing our Norway tree stands, some unknown bug or virus I suspect. And what to do about this quick acting death is presently unknown. My query to authorities at Herkimer County Soil and Water Conservation District yielded little more than a shoulder shrug. So a new query to Arbor Day Foundation or Cornell Cooperative Extension is the next plan.

A couple of the dead Spruce trees are presented in the above photo. These trees seemed perfectly healthy last year – fully green needled and apparently healthy. Something works relatively quickly to wipe out the trees. Lost maybe twenty of our 1,500+ evergreens since last fall.

I was down south near Oneonta last week talking to the husband of a distant cousin. He reported the same issue, having seen a few large Spruce Trees around his rural property quickly die off. Sure hope New York State is not at the leading edge of another tree species die off similar to that 20th century scourge Dutch Elm Disease. Just wondering if anyone knows what’s up with the relatively high number of Norway spruce deaths?

P.S. OBTW, five Rose Of Sharon bushes were planted too – compliments of the Arbor Day Foundation.