Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sad news for aspens

On our trip to northern Arizona, we were looking for the changing of the colors, particularly in the aspen trees. But SWMBO said it looked like the older trees were dying, or at least sick. The leaves seemed gray and many of the trees were leafless.

I mentioned this to a friend when we returned home and he said he had heard something was killing the aspens. Investigating, I found an article that said the death rate of aspens in some forests near Flagstaff has neared 95% and fewer appear to be regrowing. The high death rate has mystified scientists, the article continued, though the list of suspected causes includes drought, disease, insect infestation, wildfire suppression and the grazing habits of elk. Couple that with the bark beetle infestation that is threatening the Ponderosa pines and you have a grim picture of the future.


Granny J said...

Those are very sad pictures, Cat. I wonder if we still have our few aspen up toward Mt. Francis and over near Potato Patch.

Catalyst said...

I'll have to check that out.

Jarart said...

Change is in the air once again.

Catalyst said...

I'm afraid so.

Meggie said...

I am with Julie. It is very sad news.
I hate to think of all the wanton slaughter of wonderful old trees in NZ, from burning. They tried to farm the rugged country, & could not. Some regrew. A lot was turned into pine forests, for logging.