Hows The Water


6.8.11 – Trees

With all the rain we have had, and now (finally) some sun, the landscape is bursting forth.  The landscape is incredibly green – I don’t think I have ever seen so many different shades.  The trees seem to have leafed out overnight.  Sadly, many of them were damaged in the winter storms, and need to be trimmed or even taken down.  I hate to see a beautiful old tree gone, although sometimes there simply is no choice.  Trees also play an important role in helping to keep our watershed healthy and beautiful.

According to the Watershed Forestry Resource Guide “Trees are the oldest and largest living things on the earth, and they are a good measure of the health and quality of our environment. Urban forests are located on public and private land right in our own back yard. They line our city streets and highways; make our towns, parks and recreation areas beautiful; and add life to the landscape of concrete. Urban trees help to clean the air of pollution and provide oxygen. They reduce stormwater runoff and when located properly they can even lower heating and cooling costs. As urbanization and sprawl expands into rural areas of our watersheds, forests become an increasingly important resource to all who live there.”

If you have lost a tree due to the winter storms, now is a good time to replace it, or perhaps to learn more about the trees around us.  Many of us look at trees, and can’t really identify them.  Visiting local arboretums, like Bailey or Planting Fields, is a great way to become more educated about the local trees.  Another resource is the The Arbor Day Foundation, which has a booklet that helps people identify trees in a simple, step-by-step process. The booklet, What Tree Is That? is available for a $5 donation to the nonprofit tree-planting organization.

What Tree Is That? is a fun, easy-to-use tree identification guide that features hand-drawn botanical illustrations highlighting the distinctive characteristics of many tree species.

Nature lovers and professional arborists alike have called this pocket field guide one of the most user-friendly resources to have. Its beautiful, full-color illustrations are in precise detail to depict natural colors, shapes, and textures, so users can make a positive species identification in just a few easy steps.

The Arbor Day Foundation offers this booklet to help people identify trees in New York and throughout the Eastern and Central regions of the United States. What Tree Is That? uses a unique step-by-step approach to identify the species of each tree. The booklet explains what to look for in the shape of the leaves and differences in the leaf stems and twig structures, specifics on the fruits and flowers, and the details of buds and bark.

“Our What Tree Is That? pocket brochure is an ideal resource to help people develop a greater appreciation for trees,” said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The Arbor Day Foundation strives to help people enjoy and appreciate trees, and we feel our pocket field guide will do just that.”

What Tree is That? is also available as an online interactive version at The Arbor Day Foundation offers this unique, one-of-a-kind online tool so people can identify trees using the internet.

To obtain a tree identification guide in full color, send your name and address and $5 for each guide to What Tree Is That?, Arbor Day Foundation, Nebraska City, NE 68410. You can also order the book online at


This Week’s Results .

The dissolved oxygen levels were at levels greater than 6.0 mg/L at all of the sites Friends of the Bay monitored this week.  Levels at 5.0 mg/L of DO are considered to be healthy for all marine organisms.  The water temperature is cool, with temperatures as low as 13.63 centigrade.  We can hope that with the sun returning, the water temperatures will rise to more seasonal levels!