Monday, August 22, 2005

Massive Tree Kill in Faraggut Park

For the past six weeks, those of us who travel back and forth through Farragut State Park on Highway 54 have witnessed a large tree kill.

This started, unlike pest kills, where the top new growth of the trees die first. The browning of the needles began at the bottom, soon to become systemic. Hundreds of all varieties of evergreens and others are dying, all on the same schedule.

I contacted the Idaho State Transportation Department, at their Regional headquarters in Hayden, Idaho. I was referred to the district Superintendent of road maintenance. When I brought this phenomenon up to John Perfect, he had not been aware of this previously. He promised to personally inspect the situation and get back to me, which he did promptly.
It appears, where the seemingly obvious was overspray of a defoliant, there are other possible culprits, such as the chloride spray used in the winter, and possibly plowed back into the trees. This is less than obvious, but then I suppose if the hot spell over stressed the trees in combination of the salts, it could be the cause.

To Mr Perfect's credit, rather than gloss over the situation, he is calling in the Silvaculturists from the Department of Lands to diagnose the cause. If it is transportation's problem, he sounded like he would take corrective action.

Until then, we have probably lost hundreds of trees, both on Highway 54, and 95 North of Silverwood Theme Park.

More on this as the situation develops...

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