DC's largest Ginkgo cut down by accident.

alabamatreehugger(8)February 13, 2013

Wow! They thought it was an Ash!

Here is a link that might be useful: Ginkgo article

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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

Yup. All over the arboriculture boards. That company might go under because of it - I'd certainly take the shingle down and start over with a new name.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 6:59PM
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spiros

Here's a video of it being cut down.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/02/national-park-service-contractor-cuts-down-wrong-tree--85157.html

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 7:51PM
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calliope(6)

Oh man..... even in winter they're pretty distinctive. Seems like you'd have to work hard at mis-identifying one for an ash. Sounds suspicious of some unfortunate duty delegating. Green Trees? can you say oxymoron in this instance? What a shame.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 7:58PM
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spiros

Agreed. Impossible to mis-identify for any other tree even in winter.

It looks like this company, link below..

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.usgreentree.com/

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:03PM
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greenthumbzdude

I hope they atleast replace it....

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:32PM
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calliope(6)

Ginkgos aren't the fastest growing tree under the sun. You can't 'replace' this tree. If they planted one now, it will be considered replaced in about a hundred and fifty years. That's considering it doesn't fail for numerous other reasons. It's not about dollar damages even.....and considering what I've seen insurance cover for even mis-felled forest trees.....this one's gonna be a whopper.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:47PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I can just see it now. Greentree agree to replace the tree. The park service gives the OK. Next thing you know they've accidentally planted a hybrid poplar in place of the ginkgo. The park service again comments, "It's pretty incomprehensible how something like this can happen."

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:58PM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

They're not getting any more government contracts.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 9:27PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

There is massive one in front of city hall in Madison, WI. I spotted it this past December without trying to look for it across the street!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 9:44PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Unbelievable incompetence.

The tree the company was supposed to cut down still has to go. The Park Service says it's dead and could fall during a storm. The question they have is should they keep this contractor or hire someone they consider more reliable.

This is a question?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 9:46PM
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calliope(6)

There was also a magnificent one outside my classroom window when I was in middle school. It was the first time I had ever seen a gingko and the image never faded and why I planted several on my own ground. They razed the school a few years back, and the part of the grounds where the gingko stood now stands empty. Nobody had the foresight to salvage the tree. God, the grounds look stark and empty now. Makes me want to go knock my head up against a wall, sometimes. I wonder if this employee wasn't just given an address and no further supervision. Knowing how to fell a tree cleanly and properly is not synonymous with knowing anything about trees and a point to remember for anyone who needs advise about their own trees.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 9:52PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

This is super depressing. These aren't professionals. Any professional would know a ginkgo.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:26PM
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calliope(6)

This one may be a very professional timber cutter. That doesn't mean he is an arborist or actually needs to know much more than how to fell a tree safely. The company I hire for major work we can't or don't want to do ourselves has some workers who also wouldn't know a ginkgo, but we don't get too concerned, because the man who does ALWAYS shows up when the crew is setting up. He does need to know about trees and walks the crew around under the supervision of a responsible leader and goes into detail how each tree needs to be handled. On anything where there might be concern, he shows back up to direct them. That's what cell phones are for. ;-) It could be this poor Joe ended up with an address and orders to cut down a tree, and he did it. He might not have even been told what kind, or why. Then when the proverbial stuff hits the fan, it's usually interesting to see who takes the rap.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:40PM
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lucky_p

Had someone tell, years back, of a big ginkgo felled on a poperty in the PNW - log, lying in the construction lot, started sprouting leaves, so they bored a hole and dropped it in - evidently rooted in and recommenced growing. Largest rooted cutting in history.
I've not seen it, but the source was quite reliable...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 11:02PM
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calliope(6)

LOL....doncha love it when something like that happens? They have a life force of their own and what we do or don't do doesn't always call the shots. Presume that's part of their mystique and why some of us are so smitten with them.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 11:25PM
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alabamatreehugger(8)

I used Google StreetView to "drive" around the park, I saw the half dead Ash next to the bus stop. Hard to believe they got those two trees mixed up, the Ash is only half the size.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 12:53AM
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lucky_p

Ah, the story is different than originally represented to me - the trunk wasn't sunk into a borehole, the STUMP and remaining roots were re-planted, after it was noticed sprouting in the construction lot. Very different.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ginkgo @ Reed College

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 2:15PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Now the original sure was a nice looking tree.

There are Maple people and there are Oak people. I'm a Ginkgo for sure.

That is the tree I'd select to be planted near my burial site if I had a choice.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

We'll keep that in mind.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:00PM
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esh_ga

I hope they plant a native tree in place of it.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:56PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

As my husband says, "It's the District." We seem to have to say that a lot. :(

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 6:15PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Don't tree removal companies mark trees they are planning to remove? I see orange markings on the trees around here on a regular basis.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:10AM
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fireweed22

How do we know that the parks service didn't tag the wrong tree?
How do you know the company misidentified it? Maybe they were told to remove a tagged tree.
Around here the city marks trees to come out with spray paint and a metal tag. and we're in the boonies. In DC? I'm sure there's at least paint and a tag.
Do you think the parks are above making mistakes?
I bet there's more to the story.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:22PM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

Why a native tree EshGa? Ginkgoes have the potential to live longer than most natives in a cityscape.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 1:26PM
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esh_ga

It doesn't have anything to do with how long the tree lives. A native tree has at least some chance to contribute to the natural environment in terms of food support for bugs and birds.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:38PM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

A native tree has at least some chance to contribute to the natural environment in terms of food support for bugs and birds.

So do urban-adapted trees, for longer, for urban-adapted fauna.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:40PM
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calliope(6)

Amen.............urban landscapes aren't exactly 'natural' and sometimes non-native trees fill that niche in a more healthy manner not only for the tree but bugs and birds. It's simply not true that only native trees or plants will provide an environment for native flora and fauna. I believe they're preferable and would like to see them used more than they are because they have evolved with the ecosystems, but there are many introduced species who can similarly fill that niche without missing a beat and could be used if they don't begin to compete with other species in an invasive manner.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:19PM
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esh_ga

for urban-adapted fauna ?

What is urban adapted fauna? Squirrels?

I agree that urban landscapes aren't natural.

sometimes non-native trees fill that niche in a more healthy manner not only for the tree but bugs and birds

What non-native trees fill that niche for native bugs? I agree that birds probably do eat some non-native plant berries. But bugs are a huge part of bird diets, both as adults and for chicks. Bugs eat native plants, non-native ones not very much. Reduce the amount of native plants in an urban area and you reduce the bug population and that reduces the bird population.

As I said, A native tree has at least some chance to contribute to the natural environment in terms of food support for bugs and birds.

Non-native trees have very little chance that I know of. But I'm willing to be enlightened.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:29PM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

What is urban adapted fauna? Squirrels?

The technical term is "synanthropic" - tolerating or living with humans.

Nurtered landscapes are much different environments and trees in these landscapes must tolerate being open-grown, crappy soils, dry, hot, etc etc etc.

Just because it is native doesn't mean it is suited.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:44PM
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esh_ga

Just because it is native doesn't mean it is suited.

I agree! I wouldn't put a Carolina silverbell in a hot urban environment exposed to pollution from nearby traffic. But I might put another ash or an oak or a maple that is native to the mid-Atlantic.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:25AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

esh,
It will depend very much on how specialized a particular species is to it's host plants. Generalists are much more likely to accept a non-native species. The NATIVE Silk Moth seems to very much like our NON-NATIVE Shantung Maple Acer truncatum. I have found many caterpillars and cocoons of this species on our tree. But this species of moth is also a generalist.

Point is, it's not so simple.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:44AM
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esh_ga

Please don't make my simple comment about choosing a native species to replace as a concept to execute without planning.

Of course the designer would want to consider native trees that are a) urban tolerant and b) well suited for the region.

Sure generalist insects have more capacity to adapt. But the vast majority of insects are not generalists.

There was a recent study done on raising generalist insect larvae on equal batches on native and non-native plants ... I'll see if I can find it. Bottom line, the insects failed to thrive when raised on the non-native foliage. They didn't all die, but they produced fewer adults and the ones they did produce were not as robust as those raised on the native foliage.

Bottom line, planting non-native trees vs. native trees reduces the insect population. We can argue by "how much", but it definitely reduces it. And that reduces bird populations as well.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:11AM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

Depending on land-use intensity (and the Landscape Architect doing the drawings), if a native is adapted to the site, that site has a chance to get a native planted. 99% of big-city urban foresters know all this already.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:28AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Well in the case of our Shantung, they seem to prefer it over the natives. I have lots of maples (many native, and many red maples surrounding), and there are definitely more of these on this tree than the others. There is no obvious differences is etc either. Though this is one specific case.

Artrees

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:04AM
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calliope(6)

"Bugs eat native plants, non-native ones not very much. Reduce the amount of native plants in an urban area and you reduce the bug population and that reduces the bird population." Oh no..........just the opposite can and often is true, unfortunately. Consider the pandemic of scourges presently taking down our native forests like Asian longhorn beetle, ash borer, marmorated stink bug. They are NOT finding fauna they are used to eating, but totally (exotic to them) plants and trees upon which they are gleefully eating and thriving, considering how fruitless their eradicaton is appearing. This does speak to the impact of introduced species, but the main problem with introduction of alien species is their lack of checks and balances of control. In the case of trees and plants, this means invasiveness to the point of overpowering native species. This is the point where insects with special nutritional and breeding requirements suffer. Not going to happen with most introduced tree species if chosen with care.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 2:10PM
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esh_ga

arktrees, I'm glad that native bugs have found something to love about your maples.

And yes, wxDano, I hope that designers today are more likely to choose native trees by design. Thanks to continued discussion by those that advocate native plants for a variety of reasons, city, county, state and federal requirements are more including some consideration of native species.

For many years, choices like gingko, Asian cherries, Asian ornamental pears, goldenrain, and non-native conifers, crape myrtles, and Japanese maples were the trees of choice in landscaped areas, even in parks and "natural" areas Perhaps the trend is turning back to natives by design now. We have beautiful and unique native trees in North America, I am always glad to see them used and appreciated in professional designs.

And yes calliope, non-native bugs, blights, fungi and diseases have wreaked havoc on many of our natives once they got imported here. Those were unfortunately a by-product of bringing plant material from other places; the chestnut blight, for example, came in on an Asian chestnut stock that was brought over as a new landscape plant. Their ability to eat and affect the American cousins of their host plant was unfortunate.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 5:17PM
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esh_ga

And here is the paper I mentioned earlier.

Here is a link that might be useful: Can alien plants support generalist insect herbivores?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 6:06PM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

In urban environments with highly-altered landscapes - especially in areas with high land-use intensity - the important thing is to get viable green cover for shading, evapotranspiration, air filtration, precipitation interception, aesthetic values, psychosocial restoration, "habitat". The higher the land-use intensity, the more important these functions become.

It is a bonus if you can get natives to survive in urban altered landscapes. Generally in large cities, you try and preserve corridors and exclude invasives in order to have native fauna move around and survive in refugia. Very difficult and costly to do as the land-use intensity increases. And with the direction that the Landscape Architecture field is going in, the job becomes even harder. "Ideals are like the stars: we never reach them, but like the mariners of the sea, we chart our course by them." -- Schurz

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 6:27PM
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smivies

"Here is a link that might be useful: Can alien plants support generalist insect herbivores?"

Just because it was published does not mean it was a good study....
Case in point - The authors compare Norway Maple to Black Cherry stating that the Maple was an inferior host. True, but a more accurate comparison might have been Black Cherry to Sweet Cherry OR Norway Maple to Silver Maple. Over and over again, cross genus comparison were made to support the hypothesis.
While clearly there are non-native trees that are remarkably insect resistant one should not forget that the same applies to many native species.

The native/non-native argument is complex and must be addressed appropriately for each context. One is not always better than the other.....

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 6:36PM
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esh_ga

While clearly there are non-native trees that are remarkably insect resistant one should not forget that the same applies to many native species.

"insect resistant" isn't the concept. It is "unpalatable" or "inedible", meaning the plant does not support insect life (herbivore) in the new land in which it lives.

What native American species are unpalatable to insects in their native environment? Now, I will agree that if you plant Colorado blue spruce in Georgia, for example, you won't have many native insects eating it because they were left behind in Colorado. But a Georgia native plant should have an insect herbivore eating it while living in the area of Georgia that is native.

The native/non-native argument is complex and must be addressed appropriately for each context.

Absolutely agree. This all started with a simple wish: I hope they plant a native tree in place of it.

Prior to doing so (planting a native tree), of course much consideration needed to be done. I never said it (consideration) wouldn't/shouldn't be done.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:16PM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

Just because it was published does not mean it was a good study....

I didn't see any problems with the paper esh provided. Rather workmanlike and professional.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:20PM
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calliope(6)

And yes calliope, non-native bugs, blights, fungi and diseases have wreaked havoc on many of our natives once they got imported here. Those were unfortunately a by-product of bringing plant material from other places; the chestnut blight, for example, came in on an Asian chestnut stock that was brought over as a new landscape plant. Their ability to eat and affect the American cousins of their host plant was unfortunate.

This is what I am getting at, not only can alien insects thrive on our native trees, our native insects can thrive on alien trees. It works both ways. I'm in your camp actually about introduced species, but pandora's box is already open now. Yes, yes, yes there are overused non-native trees and many of them are weeds when they reach our shores. I live near a city where urban planting is rife with bradford pear they replace and replace as they die. Burning bushes run ramplant through the landscapes from escape from gardens. We absolutely need to rethink it and I support that movement. But it lacks credibility when it's applied too broadly to an either/or choice.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:30PM
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sam_md

native insects can thrive on alien trees.
please cite some examples of USA native insects which thrive on alien trees.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:06PM
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smivies

"please cite some examples of USA native insects which thrive on alien trees."

1. Never saw an Asian Magnolia that the Magnolia Scale didn't like.
2. White Pine Weevil isn't particularly discriminating...attacking Norway Spruce, Blue Spruce, Austrian Pine, Scots Pine
3. Wouldn't want to the the Eastern Spruce Budworm escape North America...it's quite happy on ~60 conifer species.
4. Fall Webworm is a fine example of a generalist. Doesn't really care if your Walnut, Cherry, Birch, or Apple is an immigrant or not.

Insects, especially generalists, are well adapted to feeding off non-native species in the same genera as their native host plants.

If you need an example of adaptability, turn the tables around...the Fall Webworm is doing very well feeding on those same exotic trees on their home turf in Europe and Asia. The most damaging alien insect pests in North America also demonstrate an adaptability to exotic hosts...proven by their continued success here and aggravated by the lack of biological controls.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:11PM
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esh_ga

Yes, I have heard that our native insects and plants can be pests in other places - no surprise that it can happen there just like the reverse is true here!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:44PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

I feel like we've gone off topic.
Poor Ginkgo...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:22AM
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