trees

About one hundred yards from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Broward Extension is a sort of palm tree graveyard.


J Pat Carter / AP Photo

Florida's iconic palm trees are under attack from a fatal disease that turns them to dried crisps in months, with no chance for recovery once they become ill.

Spread by a rice-sized, plant-hopping insect, lethal bronzing has gone from a small infestation on Florida's Gulf Coast to a nearly statewide problem in just over a decade. Tens of thousands of palm trees have died from the bacterial disease, and the pace of its spread is increasing, adding to environmental woes of a state already struggling to save its other arboreal icon, citrus trees, from two other diseases.

Jonathan Ogden

Have you looked up recently? 

It’s that time of the year when we see deep red-orange -- and sometimes yellow -- flowers blooming on tall trees with wide branches all across South Florida. Royal Poinciana trees, or in Spanish Flamboyant, are in full bloom across the region. We asked listeners on Facebook and Twitter to share their Royal Poinciana photos and tell us why they love them.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Key West built a firehouse in 1908. A few years later, someone planted a mamey tree in the yard alongside it. Now that tree is now getting some special attention.

Alex Vega spent three years early in his career at Key West Firehouse No. 3, the site of that tree. He says the big mamey tree in the yard sometimes produced 30 of the football-shaped fruit and sometimes 300. But it was always shared around.

"Every watch got a bagful — two for you, one for your mother. They would give them out to their family and stuff," he said.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN News

Key West is known for sunsets, nightlife and cats with six toes. Now, some of its residents say it should be known for its trees. Especially royal poincianas.

When the royal poinciana trees are in bloom - like they are now - just about everybody notices and admires the bright orange-red blooms.

But some of Key West's residents - like Karen Ludwig O'Leary - say the island is losing too many of the trees. Ludwig O'Leary and others have been protesting the removal of the trees and their replacement with different species.

Palmbeachschools.org

Guests for Sundial Tuesday, May 1, 2018:

Dr. Donald Fennoy took over as the Palm Beach County School District's new superintendent this past March. He is the youngest superintendent in Palm Beach County history and is also the first African-American to hold the position. He joined the program to discuss teacher pay, school safety and his plans for the future of 11th largest school district in the country.

Rhonda Sibilia

In the aftermath of any major storm, we can expect to see many toppled and uprooted trees in South Florida. But recently one massive tree in a public park in Miami-Dade was tagged with a heartfelt plea for passersby.

Stuck on the tree were two handwritten signs reading “I’m alive. So stand me up!”

“It's a good intention,” says Adrian Hunsberger, urban horticulture agent with the University of Florida/Miami-Dade County Extension Office. “But usually if it's blown over and it's laying on its side it's really beyond salvaging.”

South Florida lost a lot of trees during Hurricane Irma. While Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties avoided a direct hit, the storm managed to topple  palm and other canopy trees, littering the streets with tree trunks, branches and palm fronds.

One month later, the debris from the trees and shrubbery remains on the curb or street waiting to be picked up. 

Not long ago, two Americans caused a scene in a Mozambique village. Locals were mystified by the tourists spending several days photographing a single tree.

"Sometimes we have to explain to people what we're doing but often they just think, 'Okay these guys are nuts,'" says New York photographer Len Jenshel.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Laura Everette didn’t know what to do after Hurricane Irma knocked a tree onto her minivan.

Everette, 57, is a double amputee and she lives on a fixed income.

Tree removal and clean-up can be expensive with costs ranging from the hundreds to thousands of dollars. As homeowners and renters across South Florida continue to deal with the aftermath of Irma, that means figuring out what to do with toppled trees on private property.

Everette, a renter, tried calling her landlord but didn’t get a response.

Attractions Magazine

Springtime in South Florida means the bloom of those little yellow flowers on trees across the region. Those are tabebuia trees (pronounced tah-beh-BOO-ya). We spoke with Lee County Horticulture Agent Stephen H. Brown about the tabebuia tree and how long we can expect its colorful flowers.

 

Tell us what you can about the tabebuia tree.

 

Wikimedia Commons

Arborists climbed to the top of a 2,000-year-old bald cypress tree in Seminole County Monday.

They gathered clippings from the soaring cypress known as Lady Liberty as part of an effort to clone some of the world’s oldest trees and rebuild depleted forests.

The idea is to rebuild forest using the genetics of the world’s sturdiest trees.

Jake Millarch of the Archangle Ancient Tree Archive was one of three arborists who climbed Lady Liberty to gather clippings.

satit_srihin / freedigitalphotos.net

We've all seen the Harlem Shake videos on YouTube: the Miami Heat Harlem Shake, the underwater diving team Harlem Shake, the Florida Senate pages' Harlem Shake. It was hilarious for a while, until it wasn't anymore.

But there is one that still has me laughing - the Harlem Shake "Tree Version."