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What's happening in the floriculture and nursery industries in San Diego & Riverside Counties.
Hover Fly (by KKG)
Comments:
by Robin Y Rivet
on January 30, 2015 at 4:11 PM
I am a devoted urban tree advocate, but witnessed an avalanche of tree doom forecast on the east coast in the 70's, mostly when the gypsy moth was at its hilt - defoliating entire forests. Some places were sprayed with DDT, and one area was not - after a lawsuit suggested that the pesticide might be worse than the pest. There was controversy about that, and extension offices defended the practice. Yes, there was loss without spraying, but the forest and the the habitat came back stronger than ever, especially where entire ecosystems were not disrupted by chemicals. Our streets are much more complex. Urban tree health is doomed from so many ill-advised practices of monoculture, excessive root pruning, topping, insufficient soil volumes, and related stressors. I'd love to see some before/after pictures from San Diego county, as most of our street tree deatsh are not insect, but human caused. Ash trees are seldom used anymore as street trees here, and although there are times for pesticide applications, I'm not certain that spraying our streets is one of them.
Reply by James A. Bethke
on February 3, 2015 at 10:07 AM
I hope we do not wait until our urban and natural landscapes are irrevocably changed!  
First, DDT is not used anymore, yet, aircraft application of pesticides (narrow spectrum) to control gypsy moth is common throughout the forests of the eastern U.S.  
Not acting is an option, but the environmental and socioeconomic impacts would be quite significant.  
• Less habitat for wildlife species  
• Reduced homeowner values  
• Reduced cooling effects from shade and transpiration  
• Reduced carbon sequestration  
• Reduced oxygen production  
• Reduced pollution removal  
• Reduced rainwater interception  
• Increased tree removal and tree replacement costs for homeowners and municipalities  
• Reduced quality of life  
• Reduced revenue to parks due to fewer visitors who would like some shade  
 
These impacts are already occurring in many areas (ca. 80,000 oaks gone due to GSOB, which has moved into orange and Riverside Counties; all the box elder gone from a community in Long Beach due to PSHB), but no action will be taken until the folks rise up and then it will likely be too late.  
 
Ash has been planted all around the San Diego County COC. Ash is very common in many of the ornamental tree nurseries in southern California.  
 
Spraying is not the recommended application method at all. The more environmentally sensitive and targeted systemic or trunk applications are more effective.
 
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