Archive for July, 2011
Generous rains fell on the northern and eastern parts of the metro area last weekend. Over 4 inches of rain has fallen in Anderson Township this month. In the meantime, the southwestern part of the metro area is languishing in heat and short term developing drought. Only 0.96 inch of rain has fallen at my Cheviot 0.9 SSE location in July, compared to 2.40 inches last July. Temperatures have been 90 or above on 13 days. Tree and plant stress in those areas is worsening, and lawns are browning. The heat will continue and may challenge the all time record for consecutive 90 degree days. Watering in the dry areas is becoming a matter of plant life and death.
Published: Mon, 18 Jul 2011 09:00:08 EDT
The heat wave continues over the central United States and is expected to expand eastward during the week. Heat index values in the triple digits are forecast across a large portion of the Midwest today, making it feel like 100 to 110 degrees or higher during the afternoon hours. The large area of high pressure responsible for the heat will expand eastward by midweek, with temperatures reaching the mid-90s in the Mid-Atlantic states as early as Wednesday. Further out, this dome of high pressure is forecast to dominate most of the eastern and central U.S. — bringing excessive heat to much of the eastern half of the country except for the Northeast and southern Florida — through the end of next week. Details…
For those who have planted new trees or plants in the past year or two, we need to pay attention!
It is hot out there and many areas haven’t had rain for 10 days or more. Good spring and early summer rains have given us good soil moisture down deep, but the upper layers are dry in many areas and getting dryer. Check the soil with your fingers BEFORE watering to be sure it is dry. In many cases there is still moisture there either at the surface or below. The biggest water problems I have seen so far are more related to over reaction than drought. A few properties are being killed with kindness as irrigation systems are run daily and soils are flooded. Please see this link for tips on good watering practices.
Proper watering, not too much or too little, is imperative for new trees and transplants. Improper watering can kill plants and trees and void warranties. Cincinnati soils are particularly difficult since our clay is often poorly drained and wet and dry areas can be found in close proximity. There are few rules of thumb which are universal, even over the same property.
I call this “China weather”. July 18 is the 6th anniversary of the day we were handed our adopted daughter in Nanchang, Jiangxi, China. We were over there for two weeks and it was 90-100 every day with a dewpoint of 70-80. One day it was 78 with a 76 dewpoint and breezy as the remnants of a typhoon passed. China is a beautiful country, but summer is brutal, as this summer is shaping up to be here.
The current heat wave is an expansion of a large bubble of heat over the center of the country, made even worse by extreme drought in Texas. One look at the Weather Service home page shows the expansiveness of the heat wave. Heat indices reached as high as 126F in Iowa on Sunday. To top it off, much of the Cincinnati area has now only had one good rain in July, and that 10 days ago. Soils are drying in the top layers and heat and water stress are becoming issues.
The convoluted thing is that a few areas have had rain, 2.50 inches this weekend in Maysville, KY. Also, with a very wet spring, many soils remain moist a few inches down so established trees are still mostly OK. The biggest water problems I have seen so far are more related to over reaction than drought. A few properties are being killed with kindness as irrigation systems are run daily and soils are flooded. Please see this link for tips on good watering practices. Remember, being Earth friendly includes watering correctly, making the most of our water resources while maintaining healthy and vibrant landscapes.
I (Ron) got to visit the Virginia state champion dawn redwoods on the campus of the college of William and Mary. The trees are the twin conical trees on the horizon above the right stone pillar, rising above the horizon despite growing in a sunken area at the end of the green in the photo at this link>>>. (Photos 1, 6, and 7 in the plant tour link all show the dawn redwoods).
I had read references to these trees in Dirr’s Manual of Woody Landscape Plants but thought it far fetched to ask about them at the information desk. The girl there had never heard of them but she googled it and came up with the first image. I immediately recognized the distinctive shape on the horizon and she told me where it was. They were then easy to locate, and what incredible trees they are, at least 120 feet tall and 4 feet plus diameter at the base. A 90 foot California redwood was also growing just 500 feet away. A great day!
Crime Prevention Alert: Tree Service Fraud
The Wyoming (OH) Police Department has obtained information about an individual representing several tree companies, who targets the elderly by going up to a residence (unsolicited) and telling them that they have some trees that need attention and then inflating and overcharging for the service. Reports suggest that this individual has been very aggressive in his approach. The “companies” associated with this individual and his crew, have gone by the names of “Trees Unlimited”, “Mid-Ohio Tree & Mulch”, and “Tri-State Forestry”, operating from the Columbus, OH area down through Louisville, KY. There have been a number of victims of this fraud in our neighboring community of Springfield Township.
The individuals associated with these frauds are: Jason Johnson, male-white, 28 YOA, and Jeremy Richards, male-white, 29 YOA, with the Johnson subject having active warrants for frauds stemming from his tree cutting service. Both have extensive criminal histories. A maroon colored 1992 Chevrolet pickup bearing Ohio plate PHA5873 is believed to be associated with these individuals and has been observed in both Springfield and Deerfield Townships.
If you need to have work done you should contact the Better Business Bureau for a list of reputable companies and you should obtain at least three free quotes/estimates before having any work done by a contractor.
Soliciting in Wyoming
The following ordinance prohibits soliciting in Wyoming:
733.01 UNINVITED PEDDLERS OR SOLICITORS
a) No solicitor, peddler, hawker, itinerant merchant or transient vendor of merchandise, shall go in or upon a private residence, not having been requested or invited to do so by the owner or occupant of such private residence, for the purpose of soliciting orders for the sale of goods, wares and merchandise, or disposing of, or peddling or hawking the same. (Ord. 501-1959. Passed 4-20-59.)
(b) Section 733.01 shall not apply to religious, charitable or political groups, organizations or individuals. (Ord. 20-2005. Passed 12-19-05.)
If you come into contact with either of these individuals or companies and they are soliciting, or if you have additional questions, please contact the Wyoming Police Department at 821-0141.
Chief Gary J. Baldauf
Just heard this yesterday (for what it’s worth): We all want to be on a mountaintop, but when we get there we find the soil is thin and the conditions not always as good as we’d hoped. The valleys are never pleasant, but that is where the deepest and most fertile soils are. It is where we have the opportunity to grow the most. Psalm 23>>>
Paul McCartney isn’t the only beetle (Beatle) coming to Cincinnati. We have detailed the Asian Longhorn Beetles found in Clermont County, and the Emerald Ash Borer is killing trees at an increasingly rapid pace locally. Many untreated trees are beyond hope at this point. Japanese beetles are also becoming quite prominent, especially in cherry trees. We are treating for them, but if you notice them before we make it out, give us a call and we’ll be sure to come out. Treatments suppress activity but often cannot eliminate it.
In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.” The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment.”
He was right, that generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.
Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But they didn’t have the green thing back in that customer’s day.
In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks. But she was right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.
Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.
They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But they didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn’t have the green thing back then?