Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Trees are dying while flowers flourish

There are a lot of dead and dying evergreens in the London area.

Evergreen trees are dying all around London. It is not uncommon to see entire rows of trees, both young and old, dying or dead. One theory holds that Southwestern Ontario is in the midst of a decades long drought. There may be wet spells but generally the years have been drier than in the past.

A good rain may make flowers bloom and even keep crops happy but trees need water for their roots. One good storm, or two, is not nearly enough. Trees are dying because Southwestern Ontario is in the midst of a decades long drought. Apparently the water table is dropping in many areas.

I first heard this explanation for the all the dying trees from the late Peter Geigen-Miller, a fine reporter with a deep interest in the environment. I chatted with Peter about the dying trees and managed to pique his interest. Peter called authorities he knew at the local conservation area, got answer and a story.

I googled his explanation and discovered Peter was probably right. The following is from a 2010 CTV story:

A Statistics Canada study of southern Canada's water yield – the amount of water that falls as rain, melts from snow and ice packs and flows through rivers and streams – found that it has declined 8.5 per cent since 1971.

Canada's renewable fresh water supply is shrinking, according to a new report which says the southern part of the country lost enough water to fill 1.4 million Olympic-sized swimming pools every year over the past three decades.

The CTV story is good but Peter scooped them by two years or more. Peter was one of the first to report this story in detail.

The recent rain has been good for my lilies but my evergreens are looking very thirsty. I've begun watering them.
Addendum: The drought info is accurate but I wonder if my art actually shows a tree that succumbed purely to the stress of insufficient water. Look closely. There are some weird lumps at the crown of this tree. I wonder if this everygreen was suffering from a disease.

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