Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Conservation Expo October 12

With the Conservation Expo at Chilhowee Park approaching, the Forestry Division has been preparing. There will be a Knoxville Tree Board table at the Expo, tree information tags on several park trees and weather permitting there will be a tree climbing demonstration. See you there!

The 2013 Tree Planting Season

The Knoxville tree planting season is set to begin in November and will run until March. Forester Krouse intends to plant 500 trees throughout the city. He has contracted directly with three middle Tennessee nurseries to ensure the highest tree quality and lowest costs.

The Neyland Sycamores

Recently folks may have noticed that there were several sycamore trees cut down along the Neyland Greenway. The trees were suffering from two afflictions; a bacterial infection and a fungal infestation. The bacteria causes the brown curling of the leaves and is lethal once a tree is infected. The fungus is a minor ailment and causes a fuzz to form on the leaves on a tree but does not kill the tree outright.
A tree with leaf scorch. Photo Credit Michigan State Univeristy
Anthracnose Fungal infection. Photo Credit USDA Forest Service
City of Knoxville Urban Forester Kasey Krouse made a preliminary diagnosis before working with Knox Conty Extension that the trees were sick. He prescribed that the worst afflicted be cut down and several were spared since they did not show severe symptoms of the disease. Forester Krouse wants to see if these trees will survive longer than their neighbors, saving the people of Knoxville the time it would take to grow new trees to a similar age. He made a determination that, in order to preserve the benefits of the trees along the greenway on a continuous basis, some trees must go and others may stay.
A lesson in biodiversity can be learned from this situation as well. When this stand of sycamores was planted in the 90's, they were planted in a monoculture. This means that only sycamore trees were planted in the area. Having a biological diversity of trees planted together can decrease the likelihood of disease transmission.  Forester Krouse plans to replant the area with this diversity in mind.