Friday, April 26, 2019

non sequitur Friday

Someday it will be summer. *sigh*

Friday, April 19, 2019

non sequitur Friday

Energetic New Orleans band

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

it's spring, so lots of bad things will be done to trees

This week I've seen a lot of landscaping crews out and one of the biggest sins against the health of trees is being committed in many yards - volcano mulching. This is when mulch is piled up deep around the trunk of a tree in a volcano shape.

Why is volcano mulching bad? It promotes the growth of rot and disease by retaining moisture against the trunk of the tree. It also promotes unhealthy growth patterns by roots, which can shorten the life of the tree.  This page shows some examples.

It only takes a few minutes to fix this problem, and your trees will be much better off.  Put on your work gloves and pull the mulch away from the trunk of the tree. The profile of the mulch ring should look like a donut, not a volcano. Right at the trunk, you should be able to see a narrow ring of soil. Mulch should be no more than 4" deep in a ring surrounding, but not touching, the trunk.

If mulch is too deep, this is bad for the roots. Most of a tree's roots are in the top 12-18" of soil, because they need oxygen. Spreading out the mulch ring wider is fine. Having a mulch ring helps to retain some moisture in the soil during drier weather. It also adds nutrients as the mulch decomposes and encourages whoever mows the lawn to stay clear of the tree trunk.  Lawn mower wounds to a tree trunk can significantly shorten the life of a tree.

This Facebook page is a good source for tree care tips.  Morton Arboretum also has a good page on the subject.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Major Taylor Trail workday on Sat. 4/20

Please join Friends of the Major Taylor Trail for a trail clean-up workday. This Earth Day event will focus on the section of trail from 105th St. to 107th St.. We will pick up trash, trim trees, and do other clean-up as needed. If you have work gloves you like, please bring those, otherwise gloves will be available for use at the event.

If you use the Eventbrite link below to register, it's helpful to us so we know how many volunteers to expect

Register here.

If you are coming by car, the nearest parking is on street along 105th St. east of Vincennes or Racine north of 107th.  map link

We hope to see you there.

Monday, April 8, 2019

time for a better recycling plan

Tonight I was out for a bike ride and had plenty of reminders of a problem that's gotten out of hand: using Waste Management to pick up our recycling. I never saw a significant problem with broken glass on the pavement until they started handling our recycling. Now the areas around where recycling cans were picked up have a LOT of broken glass - on streets and in alleys.

To make matters worse, their recycling operation is a major conflict of interest, as they handle both recycling and dumps. Their rejection rate for allegedly contaminated recycling bins is much higher than that of other haulers. As owners of dumps, where they make money on loads taken there, they have a strong incentive to reject recycling as contaminated. If you want more detail, click here and read on.

The broken glass problem is a hazard to children, dogs and people riding bikes. It's also the proverbial last straw for me, on top of their ridiculous conflict of interest.

I hope that our new mayor will give them the sack. This is just one bad piece of a recycling program that's overdue for a major overhaul.