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Levi Rivera
Levi Rivera

Teo Trunk - Climbing Trees

In Central and South America, Rhizophora species are often the closest to the flooding tides and rely on branching prop roots, also known as stilt roots, for both stability and access to oxygen. A stilt root grows toward the soil, arcing away from the central trunk like a flying buttress. In mature Rhizophora, the trunk of the tree is completely suspended above the water by the arcing stilt roots. The root surface has hundreds of lenticel openings, like the pneumatophores in Avicennia and Laguncularia, and knee roots of other species.

Teo Trunk - Climbing Trees

Mangrove trees can be distantly related and are grouped together for their shared characteristics rather than true genetic ties. Some individuals will grow to be no more than stunted shrubs while others will grow to be up to 131 feet (40 meters) tall.

Other organisms rely on the structures created by the branching trees and their tangle of roots. Monkeys, birds, insects, and other plants all live in mangrove branches. The pygmy three-toed sloth, listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, lives predominantly among Rhizophora mangle trees on one tiny island off the coast of Panama. And the endangered mangrove hummingbird, Amazilia boucardi, preferentially feeds on the sweet nectar of the rare Pacific mangrove, Pelliciera rhizophorae, a species of vulnerable mangrove that only grows in about a dozen patchy forests from Nicaragua to Ecuador.

Mangroves host a few species of crabs that are known to climb trees. In the Americas, Aratus pisonii, the mangrove tree crab, can cling to tree bark as well as to wooden docks and pilings. Aratus dines on leaves, insects, and other species of crabs, including juveniles of its own species, in the trees. When threatened, they flee to the water, where they can select from a different menu of food. Smithsonian researchers have even spotted a mangrove tree crab feasting on a seahorse. Just like other species that are expanding poleward in response to a warming climate, Aratus pisonii is moving northward. In 1918, their most northern limit was Miami. Now, they have been observed as far north as Georgia where they are being found in temperate, saltmarshes of northern latitudes

One of the major questions Dr. Feller and her team hope to answer is how mangroves will react to climate change. Along the East Coast of the United States mangroves jump northward when propagules hitch rides on hurricanes and then jump back south when there is a major freeze. A future climate that has stronger hurricanes and fewer days that plunge below 25 degrees F (-4 degrees C) may enable mangroves to travel further distances up the coast. Just like an early frost can wipe out flower sprouts during the spring, a couple of days of icy temperatures is enough to kill a growing mangrove seedling. But, take away the super cold freezes and the young mangroves are able to survive the winter. As the plants develop into trees, they become more tolerant of cold temperatures and are better able to withstand periodic freeze events during the winter. Climate change will also increase the number of intense hurricanes, a change that will influence mangrove seed dispersal. Since long-distance dispersal of mangroves relies on ocean currents to move seeds along the coast, the strong currents and whipping winds created by stronger hurricanes will help carry propagules from down south, up the coast into new territory.

When the trunk is at an angle or is on a slope, the trunk is measured at right angles to the trunk 4.5 feet along the center of the trunk axis, so the height is the average of the shortest and the longest sides of the trunk; see Figure 80-5.

When the trunk branches or splits less than 4.5 feet from the ground, measure the smallest circumference below the lowest branch. See Figure 80-6. If the tree has a branch or a bump at 4.5 feet, it is better to measure the diameter slightly below or above the branch/bump.

For multi-stemmed trees, the size is determined by measuring all the trunks, and then adding the total diameter of the largest trunk to one-half the diameter of each additional trunk (see Figure 80-7). A multi-stemmed tree has trunks that are connected above the ground and does not include individual trees growing close together or from a common rootstock that do not have trunks connected above the ground.

Vines can look attractive when they grow up your taller trees. Should you let vines grow on trees? The answer is generally no, but it depends on the particular trees and vines involved. For information about the risks of vines on trees, and tips on removing vines from trees, read on.

Do vines harm trees? Should you let vines grow on trees? As a general rule, trees and vines should grow separately. Certainly, evergreen vines and fast-growing vines should not be allowed to take over your trees. Generally, all evergreen and most vines that grow rapidly will damage trees. Slow growing deciduous vines are sometimes okay.

Our article, "Reading a Tree for Risks and Hazards," shows some of the more obvious signs of a tree with problems. These are easy to understand and can be seen with the naked eye. Some conditions we describe indicate that your tree has a problem that should addressed by a professional arborist immediately. We also show you some trees where the "problems" aren't problems at all, but rather normal and natural occurrences that don't pose a threat to the tree.

Leaning Tree This tree has a "severe" lean. When it falls, it will probably split the house in two. Dying Trees Notice how thin the leaves are at the top of the front trees, while all the other trees have a full canopy of leaves. There may be clues at the base of the trees that tell you why they are dying. Dead Trees When all the leaves turn brown during the growing season, the tree is dead. Tree too close to house The limited area for roots and for trunk growth can create problems for the tree and the house. Lightning strikes a big tree Sometimes lightning kills a tree, but not always. Wait about six weeks to see if the leaves start to turn brown. If they do, your tree is a "goner." If the leaves stay green, have the tree checked carefully for structural damage. Two pine trees Which tree is dead? The one on the left does not have green needles. It is dead. Dead top in oak tree A tree has a serious problem when it starts to die from the top down. Have it checked out immediately.

Split trunk It is important to pull back ivy on double-trunk trees to look for splits or cracks. Crack in trunk This vertical split is about 6 feet high from the base of the tree. This chestnut tree could fall at any time. Decayed base The base of this tree is rotting, and the tree should be removed. Frass (sawdust) Sawdust (frass) on the trunk or the base tells you that borer beetles are attacking the tree. Termites Termites are not frequently seen in healthy trees. Notice the wings that the insects have shed (wispy things to the right of the insects). Mushrooms that attack trees - 1 Ganoderma sessile shows up on hardwood trees and is a sure sign of decay.

Fungus on upper trunk When fungus grows where two trunks meet, there is usually weakness below the surface. This situation requires immediate professional attention. Trunk cavity The hole created by an old pruning cut like this one sometimes allows decay to enter the trunk. Even if the hole is small, the cavity could be big. This tree required an "aerial" inspection to find out. Trunk splitting apart This massive Southern red oak splits into two trunks at about 20 feet above the ground. The arrows point to a new crack where the two trunks meet. Scary!! This problem qualifies the tree for an emergency removal before it hits three houses! Burl A burl is an abnormal groth usually found on the trunk. In general it doesn't hurt the tree or indicate weakness. Burls are often confused with mushroom activity. Slime flux Sometimes trees "bleed" something other than sap. Slime flux is a surface infection that is usually harmless. If the stain is extensive, call a Certified Arborist. Lightning scar on hardwood Sometimes a tree can recover from a lightning strike like this. Call a certified arborist immediately to assess it. Lightning scar on pine Lightning strikes on pine trees usually attract pine bark beetles, which will probably kill the tree if the strike didn't. Call a professional if you see a scar like this on your tree. Fusiform canker Fusiform canker is a common fungus on pine trees that, if deep enough, can cause them to break. Pitch tubes Pine trees try to drown attacking beetles with pitch tubes made of sap. Pitch tubes can be different colors (rose on left, amber on right). If you see these on your tree trunk, it usually means the attack is extensive and the tree needs to be removed. Bulge This pine tree is trying to strengthen a weakened area with extra wood. If you see this on your pine tree, there will most likely be a fusiform canker on the other side. Woodpecker damage These trees are showing the work of a pileated woodpecker (left) and a yellow-bellied sapsucker (right). The pileated woodpecker is going after insects in decayed or dead wood; this tree is probably hazardous, but if it's not within range of the house, it might be perfect wildlife habitat. The sapsucker is opening a drainage hole for sap in live wood; the tree is probably okay.

Sparse leaf cover We showed this image as an illustration for a Zone 1 (the tree as a whole) inspection. Sparse leaf cover also falls into a Zone 4 inspection. Broken pine branch This broken branch is easy to spot because of the differently-colored (brown, dead) needles. Cracked branch This branch was loaded with mulberries. The weight of the fruit caused it to break. Branch breakage from heavy fruit and nuts is also common in brittle nut trees like pecans. Weak branch union This branch was decayed where it attaches to the tree. The branch should be removed before it hurts someone or something. Dead branch (with detail) The brown crust fungus on this dead branch over the street tells us that the branch can break at any time. Nests You might not realize that a nest is in a tree until whatever built it lets you know it's there. Here, a hornet's nest was hidden by big magnolia leaves. Listen as you inspect your tree! Doing so often reveals what you didn't see! Widow maker A widow maker is a branch that is broken but hasn't fallen to the ground. It can come down at any time. We know this pine branch is broken because of the brown (dead) needles. 041b061a72


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