Oak is one of the most common tree species in the northern hemisphere. Often seen as a symbol of strength and wisdom, oaks are well-known for their longevity and adaptability. However, even these venerable giants are not immune to the stresses of time and temperature. Recent years have brought extreme shifts in soil moisture conditions, a proliferation of root diseases, and wood-boring insect infestations to the oak populations in many geographic regions. The result of these combined stress factors has been an observable increase in the decline of oak species.
Changing soil moisture conditions, a proliferation of root diseases and wood boring insect infestations are some of the factors that contribute to oak decline.
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Saluting Branches is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring veterans by providing tree and landscape care at national cemeteries. Arborists from around the country volunteer their services to help keep these locations safe and beautiful. This year marked the organization’s fifth anniversary and we were proud to participate in it. We volunteered in locations including Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth, Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver, at the Indiana Veterans’ Home in West Lafayette, IN, and at the Salisbury National Cemetery in Salisbury, NC. Take a look at some of the highlights.
Most of us are familiar with the results of drought stress, but did you know that high temperatures alone can cause significant damage to the health of your plants? Given that many areas are recording rising temperatures, we should become aware of how warmer temperatures affect the physiology of plants.
High temperatures reduce photosynthetic rates faster than they reduce respiration rates. The result is an imbalance because the carbohydrates produced by photosynthesis are used faster than they can be replaced. Higher temperatures increase the loss of water through stomates in the leaves, and thereby increase demands on the root system to take up water to cool the tree via transpiration. (High temperatures are usually accompanied by low rainfall—adding insult to injury.) Cellular membranes also become unstable and result in ion leakage within the leaf cellular structure.
Sun rays through trees leaves
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