Urban Forestry in the News: Goats, Vertical Forests, Megacities, More

Prospect Park goats
Prospect Park Alliance

In “New Goat Crew Arrives on Lookout Hill”, Prospect Park Alliance tells how goats continue to aid in forest restoration after Hurricane Sandy by munching on invasive plants–a quarter of their body weight’s worth each day! The ruminants have been observed to be helpful in the mission but this time, the Alliance has partnered with USFS to do a controlled study. In 2017, goats were rotated through a series of plots on Prospect Park’s Lookout Hill. The health of these “goat plots” is going to be compared over time to “goat-less plots” where Alliance staff have cleared the invasive vegetation manually. Another good article about this ongoing research is “These Adorable Goats Are Helping to Restore Brooklyn’s Last Natural Forest.”


White ash by AndyIn “Ash Trees on the Brink of Extinction,” Arbor Day Foundation writer Conni Kunzler summarizes recent alerts from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) about the “critically endangered” status of eastern U.S. species of ash–green, black, white, pumpkin, and blue ash–due to Emerald Ash Borer. Ohio State University Entomologist and EAB expert Dan Herms weighs in.

Photo of white ash tree at left: Andy Hillman
 

 

 

 

img-bosco1-1000x749 In “China is About to Get its First Vertical Forest,” author Rosamond Hutt describes plans for the eastern city of Nanjing, which suffers from poor air quality. The project comes “from Italian architect Stefano Boeri and his team, who built Milan’s Bosco Verticale (vertical forest), consisting of two residential high-rises at 110 and 76 meters with around 900 trees and over 20,000 smaller plants and shrubs.” Although horticulturists were consulted in Milan and in Nanjing, students of arboriculture (specifically, root science) may be skeptical about whether the given soil volume is adequate to meet the needs of the trees over time.

Duncan Slater headshot
Dr. Duncan Slater

In “Forks and Failures: The Effects of Natural Bracing in Trees,” Dr. Duncan Slater of Myerscough College in Scotland explores the fascinating connection between natural bracing in trees and their connection to bark inclusion in tree forks (aka branch crotches). His findings may change the way arborists approach pruning for stability.

 

 

 

 

 

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In “What’s the Annual Value of Trees? $500 Million Per Megacity, Study Says,” lead author Dr. Theodore Endreny of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in Syracuse collaborated with colleagues in Italy to evaluate ecosystem services in the megacities of Beijing, China; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cairo, Egypt; Istanbul, Turkey; London, Great Britain; Los Angeles, United States; Mexico City, Mexico; Moscow, Russia; Mumbai, India; and Tokyo, Japan.

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