I think this coming Friday, Jan. 18, is Florida’s state arbor day, if I’m not mistaken. I haven’t seen anything about it in the news, but I wrote it on my calendar and thought I’d mention it.
A couple years ago, The Florida Department of Environmental Protection recommended planting native Florida trees. That’s what my family plans to do to replace some trees that didn’t make it through Wilma — more than two years ago! I know, I know — we’re way behind. I guess we were just hoping some of the trees would pull through, but they didn’t.
Visit FloridaYards.org for Florida-friendly landscaping tips.
Image from Florida DEP
The use of cypress mulch is still being debated (I blogged about it back in July), in the Orlando Sentinel and Sun-Sentinel. According to the article, environmentalists think cutting down cypress trees just to shred them for mulch is a waste of an ecosystem. Cypress loggers counter that it’s a sustainable business, though, because the trees regenerate.
Have you been to Myakka River State Park in the past few years? Or ever? If not, please find a way to go this year. This St. Petersburg Times article has a nice profile on the Canopy Walkway in the park. The walkway is one of the few places where you can get into the tree canopy — without climbing a tree, that is. Climb the tower, walk across the swinging bridge to the next tower, and climb even higher up to the top observation deck — if you’re not afraid of heights! The tower is 74 or 75 feet high.
I went with my family over Memorial Day weekend. The river was so low that I hardly recognized it. It was even unnavigable in at least one spot. I hope rain brings it back. Can anyone tell me how the river is doing lately?
When I visited Torreya State Park a few years ago, I was amazed at how high the hills were in the surrounding area, and how high the river bank was as the Apalachicola River flowed past. I was also amazed to learn the park is named after the torreya tree, which is an endangered tree found pretty much only in a few counties in Florida and in some places in Japan.
The torreya is rare and getting more rare, this article says. Environmental factors and fungal infections are hurting the torreya population even as researchers and organizations try to save it.
I think endangered and threatened animals get more attention than endangered and threatened plants do — and if I’m not mistaken, there are more species of plants on the endangered list than there are animals. When you think about a species disappearing, it’s sad.
Photo from Torreya State Park
A list of the nation’s largest and oldest trees (champion trees) includes a hickory at Lake George in Volusia County that could be around 300 years old. But new rules that require the trees to be remeasured every 10 years could knock the hickory off the list, according to this Daytona Beach News-Journal article. The tree has weathered several hurricanes and may be at the end of its life, the article says, so when the National Register of Big Trees (yes, there really is such a thing) comes out soon, the Lake George hickory might not make the cut. Er…you know what I mean.
If you know of a large, old tree, contact the Florida Division of Forestry.
Photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Is it OK to cut down Florida’s cypress trees for mulch? That’s what environmentalists are debating in this article in Florida Today.
Me, I try to use fallen leaves as mulch whenever I can.