JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Officials at one Mississippi lake are trying to burn out an invader.
WAPT-TV reports workers at the Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson are using flamethrowers to...
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — On a February weekend, in freezing temperatures, 72-year-old Mike Trial is dressed in work boots and jeans sawing his trees into boards. The 200 acres he owns west of Columbia...
Keeping cool: Sleeping plants fend off cold the best
Each warm spell makes the next cold spell feel that much more frigid to me and — more importantly — to my trees and shrubs. These plants would be much better off if the weather would stay cold...
NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Nearly 2,000 acres of Wayne National Forest in Ohio will be intentionally burned over the next three months as part of the area's fire management efforts.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A fig tree that for 144 years shaded the brick plaza where the city of Los Angeles was founded has fallen.
The Los Angeles Times reports one of four Moreton Bay fig tree...
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews are getting a jump on nuisance weeds that grow along the state's highways.
OSU study aims to improve wildfire modeling
BEND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon State University project backed by more than $2 million in federal money could help firefighters better predict how wildfires behave in Central Oregon and...
Monthlong season to celebrate maple season starts
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Some maple syrup producers in New Hampshire say a chilly season has slowed down their output in recent weeks.
In Henniker, Gov. Chris Sununu's annual tree-tapping on...
Pruning tips to keep flowering shrubs blossoming for years
Deciduous shrubs — those that lose their leaves each winter — are always sending up new stems at or near ground level. This makes them forgiving plants to prune. New growth, wherever needed, can...
Some favorite garden vegetables attract pollinators, too
Planting clumps of bright, successively blooming flowers is a popular method for attracting foraging pollinators like bees and butterflies. But savvy vegetable and fruit growers know flowering edibles will entice them, too.
Ornamental shrubs, trees, crops and vines will bring pollinators to your yard while at the same time provide nourishment for the family table.
Savannah turning vacant city-owned lots into tree nurseries
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Officials in Savannah are working to grow both jobs and the lush urban forest in Georgia's oldest city by turning vacant lots into tree nurseries.
Funding from a $230,000 grant to promote green jobs is helping the city transform three empty city-owned lots to space for growing trees, the Savannah Morning News reported. The pilot project already has 12 trainees growing 150 bald cypress and black gum saplings at the first site.
City of Des Moines again offering free trees to residents
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines residents are again eligible to get free trees seedlings this year.
The city of Des Moines' Forestry Division is offering the trees to all city residents. The annual Tiny Trees program has distributed 12,000 free trees since it launched in 2016.
NY giving out free tree seedling to prevent soil erosion
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state landowners whose property borders rivers and lakes can apply for a bag of free seedlings to prevent soil erosion.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is announcing the "Buffer in a Bag" program on Wednesday.
Endangered tree on Guam to be transplanted for firing range
HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — An endangered native tree on Guam will have to be transplanted to make way for a new military firing range.
The Pacific Daily News reports the fadang used to be the most abundant tree in the U.S. territory. But the University of Guam says damage from the Asian cycad scale and caterpillars depleted the tree's numbers.
Former cyclist Floyd Landis to open cafe and hemp store
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — Former professional cyclist Floyd Landis has announced plans to open a bicycle showroom and coffee shop that will sell hemp products in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Indiana greenhouse loses carnivorous plants to subzero cold
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Last week's deep freeze took a bite out of a northern Indiana botanical society's collection of carnivorous plants.
The Botanical Society of South Bend says that the subzero cold killed about one-fifth of the plants in the Potawatomi Conservatories greenhouse last week, including all of its carnivorous plants.
Maine orders edibles containing CBD removed from stores
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine health authorities have ordered that edible products containing the non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the cannabis plant must be removed from stores because the product is not a federally approved food additive.
Mexican president launches ambitious forestry, orchard plan
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador launched an ambitious forestry program Friday to plant fruit and timber trees, as well as cacao and coffee, on nearly 1.5 million acres (570,000 hectares) in the country's south.
The government program will pay farmers a wage of about $250 per month to care for plots averaging about 6 acres (2.5 hectares).
‘Brew’ up your own potting mix
My gardening season begins on my garage floor. Here I mix potting soil that will nourish this season's seedlings and replace worn-out soil around the roots of houseplants.
Why make potting soil?
Why bake bread?
There's really no special magic in good potting soil.
The three basic ingredients in my mix are garden soil, mineral aggregate and organic matter. Used alone, garden soil is too dense for containers.
Expert: Hurricane-hit timber industry needs years to recover
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — It could take a decade or more for Florida's timber industry to recover from Hurricane Michael's devastation, and the countless downed trees pose an immediate wildfire threat, Forida Forest Service Director Jim Karels told a Senate committee Tuesday.
2 groups planting trees in Louisiana wetlands
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — At least two groups are planting trees in Louisiana's wetlands to restore swamps and help slow coastal erosion.
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana has nine events scheduled from next Friday, Jan. 25, in Mereaux, in St. Bernard Parish, to Saturday, Feb. 15, in the Tangipahoa Parish community of Akers.
America's Wetland Foundation will be working Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Pointe aux Chenes Wildlife Management Area in Terrebonne Parish.
Connecticut state park reopens after microburst fells trees
WALLINGFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut residents and visitors are able to visit Wharton Brook State Park in Wallingford again after it reopened this week following months of cleanup from a microburst.
Poppies are tougher than they look and can be sown early
With seeds as fine as dust and flower petals as delicate as fairy shawls, it might seem that poppies are too fragile to have their seeds sown directly on melting snow or frozen ground.
But early sowing is a must, because the seedlings thrive during the cool, moist weather of early spring. And because poppies don't transplant well, their seeds are best sown right out in the flower beds.
Loggers in Virginia have record-breaking year
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The amount of timber harvested in Virginia last year set a record.
A new report from the state forester said receipts from the Virginia Forest Products Tax show a record-breaking volume of trees being cut down.
The volume of softwood trees increased 20 percent while the volume of hardwood went up by 9 percent.
Maine scientist finds tiny plants thrive under Greenland ice
EAST BOOTHBAY, Maine (AP) — A study authored by a scientist with a Maine lab says microscopic plants are able to thrive beneath the ice that covers the Greenland Sea.
Bigelow Laboratory in East Boothbay says the study will help researchers better understand the importance of the plants, called phytoplankton. Senior research scientist Paty Matrai of Bigelow authored the study, which appeared in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.
Crew mistakenly fells tree planted for 1976 bicentennial
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Evansville officials say a tree-cutting crew mistakenly felled an oak tree planted for the nation's bicentennial.
The 42-year-old tree was recently cut down by a contractor in Evansville's downtown across from the Old National Events Plaza, leaving behind a plaque stating that it was planted in December 1976 in honor of the nation's 200th birthday.
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Dakota Access pipeline developer slow to replace some trees
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline missed a year-end deadline to plant thousands of trees along the pipeline corridor in North Dakota, but the company said it was still complying with a settlement of allegations it violated state rules during construction.
Wildlife agents: Old Christmas trees can be good for animals
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina wildlife officials are recommending people use their old, live Christmas trees to help animals.
The state Department of Natural Resources says old trees can be used for erosion control or as cover for small animals like quails and rabbits.
The agency also has a program that takes old trees and sinks them in lakes to become artificial reefs for fish.
Kodiak farm thrives growing Christmas trees from Lower 48
KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — Many of the tree species commonly sold as Christmas trees do not naturally grow in Alaska, so a farm in Kodiak has developed a business growing thousands of trees brought in from the Lower 48 states.
Todd Dorman told Alaska's Energy Desk that his father saw a niche in the market for a Christmas tree farm in Alaska.
Popular Christmas Tree Farm set to close at end of the month
PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — A decades-old Christmas tradition will come to an end this year.
Over the years, many families have visited the Bowen's Christmas Tree Farm to pick out the perfect Christmas tree.
This December will be bittersweet, the ending of the Bowens' 35-year journey selling Christmas Trees.
Kentucky quickly submits its hemp oversight plan to USDA
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky got off to a quick start toward putting its oversight strategy in place for hemp production on Thursday when its agriculture commissioner filed a plan with federal regulators — the same day hemp was legalized as a farm commodity.
Initiative aims to restore American chestnut trees
RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — Volunteers have planted more than 600 American chestnut trees at Eastern Kentucky University in an effort to restore the tree to the Daniel Boone National Forest.
Courtyard gardens: a kind of paradise behind faded walls
SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, Mexico (AP) — Step off the dusty cobblestone streets and peek behind nondescript, weather-worn, faded, even grimy brick facades, and encounter the startlingly beautiful courtyard gardens of this central Mexican colonial town.
These oases of beauty and calm claim their roots in the traditional Moorish gardens of ancient Spain. Those, in turn, were inspired by Persian, Roman and Islamic gardens even earlier. The word "paradise" itself means "walled garden."
Arizona family builds Christmas tree made of dead cactuses
PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona family is gaining attention for building a Christmas tree made of dead cactuses.
The Arizona Republic reports the Lancasters in Mesa, Arizona, recently completed their four-year journey to erect their "Phoenix Christmas tree" — a tree made entirely from cholla cactus skeletons.
Hawaii importing invasive snakes to train dogs to find them
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is importing four brown tree snakes to be used to train dogs to detect the dangerously invasive species and hopefully prevent the snakes from establishing themselves in the islands.
Dumped pets create big problems for Knoxville lake
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Workers in Knoxville have removed three truckloads of invasive weeds from a local lake, including aquarium grasses that officials believe were dumped there by residents.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the city has spent nearly $760,000 cleaning up the one-acre lake in Fountain City Park.
Plant a tree: Milan’s ambitious plans to be cleaner, greener
MILAN (AP) — If Italy's fashion capital has a predominant color, it is gray — not only because of the blocks of neoclassical stone buildings for which the city is celebrated, but also due to its often-gray sky, which traps pollution.
But Milan now wants to shift its color palette toward green.
The city has ambitious plans to plant 3 million new trees by 2030 — a move that experts say could offer relief from the city's muggy, sometimes tropical weather.
Virginia Beach to ponder planting trees to prevent flooding
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Virginia's largest city will study an idea it hopes will control flooding on its southern side.
The Virginian-Pilot reports Virginia Beach Councilwoman Barbara Henley is leading an effort to examine how forests could help prevent flooding and where those trees would provide the most benefits.
For ‘weedless gardening’ next spring, begin now
I take a four-pronged approach to keeping my vegetable and flower gardens free of weed problems, and suggest you try it.
First, keep dormant weed seeds asleep by not tilling or otherwise churning the soil. (All soils contain many weed seeds that lie dormant until they are exposed to light, which happens when soils are tilled.)
Second, avoid soil compaction by using beds and paths, or stepping stones, to make permanent areas for planting and for walking.
Wisconsin man searches for witch’s broom branches
JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) — Josef "Joe" Braeu scours the woods with the passion of a serious deer hunter.
He even carries a .22-caliber rifle, but his prey never runs.
Braeu, an internationally known expert on conifers, searches the forest for a slow-growing mass of branches called a witch's broom.
"It has nothing to do with being a witch," Braeu told The Janesville Gazette .
Michigan Senate OKs limits on local tree-cutting regulations
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Senate has voted to restrict municipalities' ability to regulate the removal or trimming of trees on private property.
Under a Republican-sponsored bill approved 23-15 on Thursday, local governments could still have rules protecting "heritage" trees — trees that are at least a certain height and are not diseased, dying or otherwise a safety threat.
Dakota Access company says it complied with state settlement
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Texas-based developer said it complied with the terms of a 2017 agreement settling allegations it violated North Dakota rules during construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, but state regulators want more details.
Arkansas committee calls for regulated dicamba use in 2019
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas Plant Board committee recommended that the state allow farmers to use the herbicide dicamba next year, but extend protections to prevent the weed killer from drifting and damaging crops.
Portland Christmas tree grower says drought hurt crop
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland Christmas tree grower says his crop is sparse this year because of drought conditions.
KPTV-TV reports Quail Creek Ranch Christmas Trees planted 9,000 trees in the spring, but only about a couple hundred of the trees survived.
Missouri Governor’s Mansion Christmas trees arriving soon
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Christmas trees for the Missouri Governor's Mansion are going up soon.
Trees to decorate the Jefferson City mansion will arrive and be placed on Monday.
Lebanon, Missouri, residents Mike and Linda Knudson donated a 40-foot (12 meters) Norway spruce that will be displayed on the mansion lawn. They planted the tree 25 years ago to commemorate the birth of their son, but it's grown too big.
Missouri farmer charged with illegally using weed killer
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A southeast Missouri farmer has been indicted on federal charges of illegally applying a weed killer blamed for drifting and damaging crops in neighboring fields.
Forest Service’s cutting of older trees draws criticism
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A Forest Service decision to cut down more than 1,300 trees that were more than 150 years old because of fears of an invasive parasitic plant is being criticized as breaking trust with backers of a thinning project.
Mexico says 48 manatee deaths due to heat, algae blooms
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican environmental authorities say a combination of hot weather, drought and toxic algae blooms contributed to the deaths of 48 manatees in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco this summer.
Activists had expressed concern that leaks from oil wells or pesticides could have played a role.
The Environment Department said Friday that heavy metals were found in the manatee autopsies and their habitat, but they were below levels considered dangerous.