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: Space debris expert warns of increasing CubeSat collision risk

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bats may be mistaking wind turbines for trees

2 hours ago

Certain bats may be approaching wind turbines after mistaking them for trees, according to a study to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researcher reports on urban "heat islands"

Sep 26, 2014

With longer and hotter heat waves in the offing, a Harvard professor has put the urban "heat island" under the microscope, finding smaller heat islands—mainly occupied by the poor—within city limits, ...

With few data, Arctic carbon models lack consensus

Sep 25, 2014

(Phys.org) —As climate change grips the Arctic, how much carbon is leaving its thawing soil and adding to Earth's greenhouse effect? The question has long been debated by scientists. A new study conducted ...

Passion for the natural world clears the waters

Sep 16, 2014

A toxic legacy has hung over the picturesque northern NSW coastal hamlet of Urunga for almost 40 years. Although now obscured by dense vegetation, the forest of dead melaleuca trees at the edge of a wetland ...

Recommended for you

NASA rocket has six minutes to study solar heating

23 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —On Sept. 30, 2014, a sounding rocket will fly up into the sky – past Earth's atmosphere that obscures certain wavelengths of light from the sun—for a 15-minute journey to study what heats ...

Cassini watches mysterious feature evolve in Titan sea

15 hours ago

(Phys.org) —NASA's Cassini spacecraft is monitoring the evolution of a mysterious feature in a large hydrocarbon sea on Saturn's moon Titan. The feature covers an area of about 100 square miles (260 square ...

How small can galaxies be?

22 hours ago

Yesterday I talked about just how small a star can be, so today let's explore just how small a galaxy can be. Our Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light years across, and contains about 200 billion stars. Th ...

User comments : 0