Zoom Text Chat - Forest Health and Climate Change - May 23, 2021

All climate conversations can be found here:
https://drawdownseattle.org/conversations/

Zoom video recording is here.

Resources and Links from our Conversation:
  • Forest Health Watch. The main site to empower community scientists to help monitor and accelerate research to solutions to aid in the health of trees.
  • Redcedar Dieback Project in Seattle. This is the main site for the community scientists who are helping researchers better understand what is happening with the health of western redcedar trees. 
  • iNaturalist. Connect with Nature.  Explore and share your observations from the natural world.  This is the app used by researchers to activate community scientists to help accelerate our understanding of the natural world.
  • i-Tree. i-Tree is a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service that provides urban and rural forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools. The i-Tree tools can help strengthen forest management and advocacy efforts by quantifying forest structure and the environmental benefits that trees provide.
  • Arbutus ARME. A botanical and community-powered collective of people focused on facilitating efforts at Pacific madrone research, conservation, restoration and education. Pacific madrone (arbutus, madrona, madroño) is the largest flowering tree of the family Ericaceae. The species produces sweet smelling flowers around May that attract many honeybees. It is an important species for birds and wildlife in the Pacific Northwest. Madrone berries ripen in autumn and last until December. These fruits are a favorite food for many bird species in the region, including band-tailed pigeons and quails.
  • Crosscut article on Dying Trees in Seattle. Bronze birch borers are thriving during the city's hotter summers. Is their infestation a sign of advancing climate change?
  • Climate Change Forest Experiment in Minnesota. The forest about a half hour north of Grand Rapids is quiet, with a narrow dirt road winding between tall trees. A small sign reading "Marcell Experimental Forest" is the only indication to people passing by of the experiment tucked a few miles back, which could have global implications.
    "It's the only place on the planet that's simulating climate change to the degree that we think it's [actually] going to happen," said Randy Kolka, a research scientist with the USDA Forest Service, "And it's right here in northern Minnesota."
  • The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World. In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group.
  • Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojar and MacKinnon.  One of the books Joey recommended in the Zoom call.  This classic, bestselling field guide features 794 species of plants commonly found along the Pacific coast from Oregon to Alaska, including trees, shrubs, wildflowers, aquatic plants, grasses, ferns, mosses and lichens. Areas covered are the coastal region from shoreline to alpine, including the western Cascades -- from tide pools to rain forests and meadows.
  • Western Redcedar Dieback Map.  Western redcedar is critical to the livelihood of our forests and communities. However, many reports of dieback have been shared recently. We urgently need YOUR help to understand why!
  • Washington State Native Plant Society Directory.  A great resource to help you identify plants in the Northwest.  The mission of the WNPS is to promote the appreciation and conservation of Washington's native plants and their habitats through study, education, and advocacy.
  • Washington Environmental Health Disparities MapThe Washington Environmental Health Disparities Map is an interactive mapping tool that compares communities across our state for environmental health disparities. The map shows pollution measures such as diesel emissions and ozone, as well as proximity to hazardous waste sites. In addition, it displays measures like poverty and cardiovascular disease. The map also provides new and rigorous insights into where public investments can be prioritized to buffer environmental health impacts on Washington's communities, so that everyone can benefit from clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment.
  • Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities App The Nature Conservancy's Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities (HTHC) will help you take actions to improve the quality of life in your community through the planting, care, and stewardship of trees in your yard, neighborhood, and community. This easy to use app will cover the necessary steps to properly plant and care for trees, both new and mature.
  • hulbe@wsu.edu.  Joey Hulbert's email address for any follow-up. 

Questions Asked During the Discussion:
  • Scott Henson: I have several questions related to all of the dieback you have described: (1) is there a way to get a sense of what rate of dieback we are looking at?  Is it above or out of whack with other regions that are being studied? (2) how long does it take to understand the impact of climate to this dieback?  It seems like this would be a long lead item? (3) is anyone analyzing how much carbon sequestration potential is being lost as a result of this dieback (Given that we rely so much on photosynthesis for carbon sequestration).
  • Kevin: Do you see the dieback occuring much more in uplands compared to riparian/wetland areas?
  • Suellen: Do you know if dieback of birch trees in Seattle is also being tracked?  Here’s an article about them: https://crosscut.com/2019/09/seattles-trees-are-dying-blame-beetles
  • Kevin: Do you see the dieback occuring much more in uplands compared to riparian/wetland areas?
  • Scott Henson: How does the tree fight off bark beetles when it’s healthy?
  • Don Parda: This link talks about an experiment Minnesota where various levels of global warming are being simulated on multiple forest plots to determine the results. Anything like this happening locally? Is this approach proving successful https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/northern-mn-climate-change-experiment-has-global-implications/89-90b32992-3b4a-4033-bc72-0df3686d641f?fbclid=IwAR3wN6SP3G1XdNBJHVHuGPgYZ0SDZp50ZK-e285AAWPSwDG_kvqEGD62w1A
  • Paul Litwin: @Joey: Can you point to good sources to learn about how to identify trees?
  • Paul Litwin: How long does a cedar that gets dieback take to die typically?
  • JimL: Where do you need more observations?  I don’t get out of Seattle much?  Do you need more observations in Seattle?
  • Jae Geller: Joey, what about the new varieties like Excelsa? https://www.plantoregon.com/product.asp?specific=2189
  • Rosenwein: I'm from the East Coast listening in - Philadelphia.  Are there projects like this in the East Coast and what are is the contact information to find out about them?  By the way, I am Holly Townes's sister and work on a radio program about the environment, Planet Philadelphia.


Text Log:
00:16:56 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): This is where things will go…
00:16:57 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): https://drawdownseattle.org/conversations/
00:17:39 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): And by “things” I mean the Zoom recording, curated chat, and supporting materials
00:23:18 Paul Litwin: Would seem to me that forest health might need to include humans cutting down those trees
00:24:48 Joey H: www.arbutusarme.org
00:33:53 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): I have several questions related to all of the dieback you have described: (1) is there a way to get a sense of what rate of dieback we are looking at?  Is it above or out of whack with other regions that are being studied? (2) how long does it take to understand the impact of climate to this dieback?  It seems like this would be a long lead item? (3) is anyone analyzing how much carbon sequestration potential is being lost as a result of this dieback (Given that we rely so much on photosynthesis for carbon sequestration).
00:37:06 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Here is that site Joey just mentioned: https://foresthealth.org/seattle/
00:45:01 laurazeffer: Please speak to whether or not it would be helpful for some of us to send photos from locations that we travel to if we notice the tree top thinning and other symptoms you mention. Or perhaps you have enough documentation amongst the scientists?
00:47:18 suellen: Do you know if dieback of birch trees in Seattle is also being tracked?  Here’s an article about them: https://crosscut.com/2019/09/seattles-trees-are-dying-blame-beetles
00:48:34 Kevin: Do you see the dieback occuring much more in uplands compared to riparian/wetland areas?
00:49:39 Paul Litwin: How long does a cedar that gets dieback take to die typically?
00:51:00 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Is this iTree? https://www.itreetools.org
00:52:42 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): https://treemama.org/the-tech-treehouse/iseatree/
00:56:16 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): The main site here (which was linked to earlier for the Seattle portion): https://foresthealth.org
00:56:24 Paul Litwin: (Love your green icons in your talk)
00:56:41 Don Parda: Are researchers in other parts of the  country/planet seeing similar results?
00:57:59 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): https://www.inaturalist.org
01:05:06 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): How does the tree fight off bark beetles when it’s healthy?
01:05:42 Don Parda: This link talks about an experiment Minnesota where various levels of global warming are being simulated on multiple forest plots to determine the results. Anything like this happening locally? Is this approach proving successful?
01:05:51 Don Parda: https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/northern-mn-climate-change-experiment-has-global-implications/89-90b32992-3b4a-4033-bc72-0df3686d641f?fbclid=IwAR3wN6SP3G1XdNBJHVHuGPgYZ0SDZp50ZK-e285AAWPSwDG_kvqEGD62w1A
01:08:24 Paul Litwin: @Joey: Can you point to good sources to learn about how to identify trees?
01:10:44 Jae Geller: I am happy to help anyone local if we want to do a tree ID and start working on group projects. I was planning to start in the fall in Redmond with GreenRedmond through Forterra and the NWF Redmond Community Wildlife Habitat team. I could start sooner since I am now vaccinated.
01:13:26 Amy Theobald: Slightly off-track, but still related... I highly recommend the book, The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben - a German forester who has observed a specific forest for several decades. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28256439-the-hidden-life-of-trees
01:14:26 JimL: Where do you need more observations?  I don’t get out of Seattle much?  Do you need more observations in Seattle?
01:16:31 Amy Theobald: It would be fascinating to compare the Seattle tree / heat map with human health outcome that have also been mapped - I have to believe there is a strong correlation.
01:17:33 Paul Litwin: https://www.inaturalist.org/
01:20:39 laurazeffer: Thank you - fascinating and alarming both!
01:23:32 Diane B.: Can you tell us how to id western red cedar?
01:23:52 Jae Geller: I am happy to help with tree ID.
01:24:00 Paul Litwin: Cool. Thanks!
01:24:03 Jae Geller: Wa native plant society has pictures and info
01:24:06 Don Parda: A side note. Visit https://greenbetween.home.blog/ for a discussion of the importance of each of us embracing life style changes to achieve a prompt and significant reduction of our personal carbon footprint if we haven’t already done so. Where are you with respect to the needed actions of less cooling, less heating, less driving, less flying, less meat-eating, and less procreation? Where are you with respect to actively promoting the needed actions within your circle of influence?
01:24:31 Joey H: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/western-redcedar-dieback-map
01:24:35 Jae Geller: https://www.wnps.org/native-plant-directory
01:25:30 suellen: Here’s the name of the book by Pojar that Joey mentioned:
01:26:31 suellen: Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojar and Mackinnon
01:26:47 Jae Geller: Joey, what about the new varieties like Excelsa? https://www.plantoregon.com/product.asp?specific=2189
01:29:26 laurazeffer: A group organized walk/hike/observation/learning session would be popular, I imagine. Please keep us in mind if you have time in the future.
01:30:29 Amy Theobald: https://www.doh.wa.gov/DataandStatisticalReports/WashingtonTrackingNetworkWTN/InformationbyLocation/WashingtonEnvironmentalHealthDisparitiesMap
01:31:07 Paul Litwin: I agree @Laura
01:32:43 Rosenwein: I'm from the East Coast listening in - Philadelphia.  Are there projects like this in the East Coast and what are is the contact information to find out about them?  By the way, I am Holly Townes's sister and work on a radio program about the environment, Planet Philadelphia.
01:32:48 Paul Litwin: We also probably don’t have enough time for newly planted trees to save us from climate change. We need to stop burning fossil fuels.
01:35:12 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Here is that app: https://healthytreeshealthycitiesapp.org
01:43:28 Paul Litwin: Thanks so much, Joey!
01:44:37 Jae Geller: Thank you, Joey! That was awesome and I look forward to following up with you.
01:44:41 Don Parda: What are the details behind a newly planted tree being carbon positive for 20 to 30 years?
01:44:52 Mary Santiago: Thank you, Joey!!
01:44:59 Joey H: hulbe@wsu.edu