Dead Arizona trees mystify experts

Sep 15, 2005

The mysterious deaths of hundreds of trees along Arizona's Santa Cruz River has prompted an investigation by environmentalists and scientists.

The experts want to determine if drought, disease, insects or some other factor is killing the trees, the Arizona Daily Star reported Thursday.

The dead trees, which might number in the thousands, are barren or covered only partially with leaves, the newspaper said. The mystery is compounded by the fact that stands of dead trees alternate with live stands.

"It's not one or two types of trees that are dying, it's every type that occurs in a riparian habitat," John Hays, flood plain coordinator for Santa Cruz County, told the Daily Star. "There's cottonwood, willow, hackberry, elderberry and mesquite. I've even seen a few salt cedars that are distressed."

"It's drought," said Jack Kelly, a commercial horticulture agent with the Pima County Cooperative Extension Service. "It's typically dieback -- the crown or top of the trees thins out."

But Ben Lomeli, a professional hydrologist, told the newspaper it's important not to jump to conclusions or dismiss any possibilities.

"It is a call for help. It's a strange case," he said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Planck: Gravitational waves remain elusive

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Carbon accumulation by Southeastern forests may slow

Jan 27, 2015

Carbon accumulation levels in the Southeastern U.S. may be slowing due to forest dynamics and land use changes, according to findings of U.S. Forest Service researchers published in the journal Scientific Reports, Friday ...

Emerald ash borer confirmed as threat to white fringetree

Jan 15, 2015

The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), also known as EAB, is an invasive insect pest from Asia that has killed millions of trees in the United States and Canada and has caused billions of dollars of dam ...

Vanishing big trees put Australia's urban wildlife in peril

Jan 13, 2015

Across Australia - and the world - the future of large old trees is bleak and yet large trees support many species such as birds and small mammals, says Mr Darren Le Roux, a PhD student at the ARC Centre of Excellence for ...

Peat fires—a legacy of carbon up in smoke

Jan 06, 2015

It reads like a movie script - ash falling from the sky, thick smoke shutting down airports and businesses, road closures trapping remote northern villages. But this is not from a script; rather, it is a ...

Recommended for you

Planck: Gravitational waves remain elusive

15 hours ago

Despite earlier reports of a possible detection, a joint analysis of data from ESA's Planck satellite and the ground-based BICEP2 and Keck Array experiments has found no conclusive evidence of primordial ...

Going a long way to do a quick data collection

21 hours ago

Like many a scientist before me, I have spent this week trying to grow a crystal. I wasn't fussy, it didn't have to be a single crystal – a smush of something would have done – just as long as it had ...

How are planets formed?

21 hours ago

How did the Solar System's planets come to be? The leading theory is something known as the "protoplanet hypothesis", which essentially says that very small objects stuck to each other and grew bigger and ...

What's happening in the universe right now?

22 hours ago

There are some topics that get a little frustrating in their pedantry, but can really draw attention to the grand scope and mechanics in our Universe. This is definitely one of them.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.