Sole Surviving Pine Tree And Symbol Of Japan’s Post-Tsunami Hope Is Dying

And the tree is not the only one that is dying in Japan.

At least a dying tree seems to be considered worth saving (and reporting by MSM)!

A lone pine tree which became a symbol of hope in disaster-hit Japan after surviving the March 11 tsunami is dying, according to reports.

Sole surviving pine tree and symbol of Japan’s post-tsunami hope is dying (Telegraph, Dec. 5, 2011):

The solitary pine was the only tree out of a forest of 70,000 to survive the impact of powerful tsunami waves as they swept across Takata Matsubara forest in Rikuzentakata, northeast Japan.

The tree, which is 30m tall, subsequently became renowned nationwide as a poignant symbol of the nation’s tenacity in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.

However, conservationists have now concluded that efforts to save the single tree are futile as its roots are heavily rotted by seawater, according to the Daily Yomiuri newspaper.

Local civic groups have been working over the past nine months to save the tree using a variety of methods, ranging from putting up protective iron sheeting to pumping seawater out of the surrounding soil.

Read moreSole Surviving Pine Tree And Symbol Of Japan’s Post-Tsunami Hope Is Dying

Up To 220,000 Bq/Kg Cesium In Japanese Conifers (Needles)!

Most radioactive cesium piled up within 2 centimeters of soil surface (Mainichi, Nov. 17, 2011):

Most of the radioactive cesium emitted by the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant has piled up within two centimeters of the soil surface, the government has announced.

The Cabinet Office’s Team in Charge of the Lives of Disaster Victims announced on Nov. 16 the detailed results of its survey on cesium dosage and accumulations in the soil, forests, buildings, rivers and other environments. Based on the results, the Cabinet Office has concluded that “most of the cesium can be removed if the top two centimeters of the soil is scraped away from its surface.”

The survey, conducted between July and September, covered the Fukushima Prefecture town of Tomioka, which is designated as a no-go zone, and the town of Namie, which has both a no-go zone and an evacuation preparation zone. Officials said 80 to 97 percent of cesium detected in those areas’ schools, parks, rice paddies and other locations was found within two centimeters of the soil surface.

In forests and orchards, cesium tended to penetrate deeper into the soil, but 68 to 88 percent of cesium still accumulated within two centimeters of the topsoil, according to the survey.

In the leaves of deciduous trees that have grown following the onset of the nuclear disaster in March, 60 to 26,000 becquerels of cesium per kilogram was detected, while the leaves of evergreen trees that have existed since before the March 11 disasters contained levels of cesium about 10 times higher than that, at 18,000 to 220,000 becquerels per kilogram. Meanwhile, fruits of trees that have grown in places with high cesium concentrations in the soil hardly bore cesium, the survey has found.

Read moreUp To 220,000 Bq/Kg Cesium In Japanese Conifers (Needles)!

UK: Sudden Oak Death Now Threatens More Trees, Already 3,000 Hectares of Larch Forest Infected

After destroying millions of oaks in California, the infection spread to Britain – then suddenly jumped species

Jason Hill among larches he is cutting down in Afan Valley: “I was due to be coming here to thin this lot, but now we’re flattening them all; it’s shocking.” Photograph: Gareth Phillips for the Observer

Through the mist and mud, Jason Hill reaches the forestry machine and climbs in to start the engine. “It’s really something I don’t want to be doing,” he says. “But if I don’t do it, somebody else will. It’s devastating.”

Seated at the computer controls, he operates a mechanical arm which grips a 30ft tall larch and slits through its base. Swinging it to the horizontal, the arm strips the tree down to a denuded trunk and slices it into even lengths of log that drop heavily into a pile. The process takes only minutes before the machine turns to the next tree.

In woodlands around the UK, just as here in Afan Valley, south Wales, the race is on to fell thousands of trees in a desperate effort to contain a new disease which poses a threat to British forests on a scale not seen since Dutch elm disease wiped out millions of trees, changing the landscape of the country for ever.

Already 3,000 hectares of larch forest – one hectare is about the size of a football pitch – in Wales, Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Northern Ireland are known to be infected by Phytophthora ramorum – sudden oak death – which comes from the same family as the potato blight organism that caused the Irish famines in the 19th century.

Named in the United States, where it has killed millions of oak trees in California, the strain now in the UK had never been seen before by science before it was detected in imported shrubs in a Sussex nursery in 2002.

In 2003, it turned up in a handful of oaks, but they seemed to have resistance and the outbreak did not seem to be too worrying. Then last year, taking everyone by surprise, the phytophthora jumped species and rapidly began infecting and killing the commercially important Japanese and European larch trees. It has also been found in several conifer species, including Douglas fir. Now the battle is on to stop it.

“I don’t want to scaremonger, but we are very worried,” said Roddie Burgess, the head of plant health at the Forestry Commission.

Read moreUK: Sudden Oak Death Now Threatens More Trees, Already 3,000 Hectares of Larch Forest Infected

UK: Sudden Death for Thousands of Trees

A deadly disease described as the “foot and mouth” of trees is wiping out forests across the country.

Trees are under threat from the fungal disease for which there is no known cure Photo: ALAMY

Sudden oak death arrived in Britain from America, where it decimated the oak population, just under a decade ago via imported plants.

In Britain the disease, officially known as phytophthora ramorum, spared oaks and jumped to rhododendrons and Japanese larch trees. In the last year it has taken hold along the west of the country in larch plantations, including more than 120 Forestry Commission sites, 20 National Trust properties and two Woodland Trust reserves.

Already 4 million trees have been felled or marked for destruction.

Read moreUK: Sudden Death for Thousands of Trees

US: Die-Off of Aspen Trees Presents Human Health Risk

DURANGO, Colo., Jan. 7 (UPI) — A recent die-off of aspen trees in the U.S. West has swelled the population of rodents that carry a virus that can be deadly to humans, researchers say.

A tree-killing syndrome called sudden aspen decline, which has wiped out swaths of trees across the West in the past decade, has changed the numbers of creatures living around the trees, including some carriers of human disease, reported.

Deer mice at hard-hit sites in 2009 were almost three times as likely to carry sin nombre virus, which can be fatal to humans, compared with mice in less-ravaged aspen stands, researchers from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., said.

Read moreUS: Die-Off of Aspen Trees Presents Human Health Risk

Scientist Discovers Why Leaves Change Colour In Autumn

A leading scientist has come up with a new theory for why leaves produce stunning autumnal colour and then drop.

The leaf is an excretophore, a means of consigning unwanted wastes to the void. This is why plants all drop leaves Photo: ALAMY

Traditional thinking believes that leaves fall as temperatures drop during the autumn, allowing the plant to enter a resting phase and save energy.

But Professor Brian Ford, a scientist, writer and broadcaster, believes leaf drop occurs in order to excrete waste products from the tree.

The president of the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research said: We have long understood the importance of the leaf as the organ of energy capture, through photosynthesis, and of homeostasis, via transpiration.

But the leaf is also an excretophore a means of consigning unwanted wastes to the void. This is why plants all drop leaves.

He found that, shortly before they are shed, levels of potentially harmful components such as tannins and oxalates in leaves increase.

The levels of heavy metals in abscised leaves are also raised, and they are clearly there to be excreted rather than stored.”

Prof Ford argues that leaves do not simply die when plants run low on water, as plants which live in water, such as water lilies, also shed leaves.

Read moreScientist Discovers Why Leaves Change Colour In Autumn

Scientists to capture DNA of trees worldwide for database

The New York Botanical Garden may be best known for its orchid shows and colorful blossoms, but its researchers are about to lead a global effort to capture DNA from thousands of tree species from around the world.

The Bronx garden is hosting a meeting this week where participants from various countries will lay the groundwork for how the two-year undertaking to catalog some of the Earth’s vast biodiversity will proceed.

The project is known as TreeBOL, or tree barcode of life. As in a similar project under way focusing on the world’s fish species, participants would gather genetic material from trees around the world.

A section of the DNA would be used as a barcode, similar to way a product at the grocery store is scanned to bring up its price. But with plants and animals, the scanners look at the specific order of the four basic building blocks of DNA to identify the species.

The resulting database will help identify many of the world’s existing plant species, where they are located and whether they are endangered. The results are crucial for conservation and protecting the environment as population and development increases, said Damon Little, assistant curator of bioinformatics at the Botanical Garden and coordinator of the project.

(No way that this is only about identifying the species and finding out weather they are endangered or not.
What could a scientist possibly do with DNA?
Why have massive, high level security ‘Doomsday’ Seed Vaults been built just recently?
Just in case you have missed these articles:

‘Doomsday’ seed vault opens in Arctic

Investors Behind Doomsday Seed Vault May Provide Clues to Its Purpose (Part 2)

Hungary to start the world’s first wild seed bank

African seed collection first to arrive in Norway on route to Arctic seed vault

Maybe, just maybe, could it be that this is more than a coincidence? …and there are no coincidences.
Maybe some of the – socially accepted – most powerful people in the world are expecting a catastrophe of epic proportions.
– The Infinite Unknown)

Read moreScientists to capture DNA of trees worldwide for database