I received this from a colleague and wondered if anyone had an answer to
Dear Professor Schmitz,
I am writing at the suggestion of Mary Warner, associate dean of the
medical school. Mary and I have been working jointly on a diagnostic
medical case project.
For many years I have owned a farm on the east bank of the Hudson River
just south of the Rip Winkle Bridge. On the steep bank that descends
from the farm house to the New York Central railroad tracks, there is a
small forest of sumac trees, interspersed with other growth. The sumac
trees generally grow straight up, at a rate of 6 to 10 feet per year,
with one exception. The exception comes out of the ground and grows in
circles. See photo 001, attached. If you will look to the left of the
chain saw, you will see a twisted length of copper about three-quarter
inches wide. The copper is embedded in the root system of the crooked
tree, and cannot be removed by vigorous tugging.
When Mary and I looked at these photos last week in her office, we
speculated that the DNA of the crooked tree may have mutated and is
sending atypical signals to the trees cells. We talked briefly about
Wilson's disease in humans, which is due to an excess of copper in the
bloodstream. Needless to say, neither of us knows anything about
crooked sumac trees.
Our current schedule calls for me to return to New Haven at 11 a.m. on
Wednesday March 10th. If you expect to be on campus that day, I could
bring you a length of the crooked tree. I plan to stay over at the
Graduate Club that night, and will therefore be available on March 11th
as well. Alternatively, you might like to visit the farm, which is
about 2 1/2 hours from Harkness Tower. I would love to have your views
on what is causing the crooked tree to grow in circles. Please feel
free to discuss this subject with your students.
If you search Google Earth for 194 Greendale Road, Hudson, NY, 12534,
you will access an aerial view of the farm. The crooked tree is on the
bank to the east of the farmhouse/barn at the north end of the farm. To
the west of the farm house there is a pinot noir vineyard, while the
grapes to the South are largely Chardonnay.
I look forward to hearing from you. With best regards,
Peter Brengel, Class of 1953
--- On *Fri, 2/26/10, Peter Brengel /<peterbrengel(a)yahoo.com
From: Peter Brengel <peterbrengel(a)yahoo.com
To: "Peter Brengel" <peterbrengel(a)yahoo.com
Date: Friday, February 26, 2010, 6:16 PM
Here is the crooked tree.
Oastler Professor of Population and
Yale University School of Forestry and
370 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
Ph (203) 432-5110; FAX (203) 432-3929
NSF/CAFS PhD Assistantship: Endophytes for improved growth and disease
resistance of forest trees.
There have now been many demonstrations of the effects of endophytes on
plants that range from positive (i.e., mutualism) to negative (i.e.,
parasitism). This project addresses research areas of site resource
utilization with select endophytes and growth, yield and quality of
Of fundamental interest is the opportunity to research endophyte
community assembly rules under ecologically realistic conditions in a
range of host plants including species of Populus and Pinus.
* MS degree in mycology, ecology, plant pathology, or related
Prior to formal application to the University of Idaho [Moscow, Idaho,
USA] please initially email a letter of interest with your curriculum
vitae to George Newcombe at georgen(a)uidaho.edu
George Newcombe, Professor
University of Idaho Forest Pathology and Plant Symbiosis
Center for Research on Invasive Species and Small Populations
Moscow, ID 83844-1133.
6th Western Hazard Tree Workshop: June 15-17, 2010
To: All parties interested in hazard tree management
From: Pete Angwin, Plant Pathologist, USDA Forest Service, Redding, CA (
pangwin(a)fs.fed.us, or by phone at 530-226-2436)
Plan now for the next Western Hazard Tree Workshop, to be held in Medford,
Oregon, during the week of June 14, 2010! The meeting site will be at the
USDA Forest Service's J. Herbert Stone Nursery in Central Point. Lodging
is available in a variety of hotels in Medford. As with the previous five
workshops, the intended audience includes pest specialists,
arboriculturists and other professionals who have responsibilities for
providing training and guidance in hazard tree management, particularly in
There will be one and a half days of indoor discussions and presentations
and one and a half days in the field. Indoor topics include: Roadside
Danger Tree Policies and Assessment; Biology and Taxonomy of Wood Decay
Fungi; Oak Defects, Decays and Failures; Options For Not Removing Hazard
Trees; Effects of Pruning on Douglas-fir; Illusions and Consequences in
Tree-Risk Assessment- When Law and Arboriculture Collide; Powerlines,
Wildfires and Tree Failures: School Fire Case Study; and Decay From
Phellinus pini: Case Studies and Lessons Learned. An evening poster
session/social/decay fungus identification workshop/hazard tree photo
contest will also be featured.
The field portion of the workshop will include visits to sites in the
southern Oregon Cascades on the Rogue River-Siskiyou and Winema National
Forests, with one stop in the Rogue Valley at the J. Herbert Stone
Nursery. We'll see and discuss a number of hazard tree situations and
topics including: decline and failure in native oaks, indicators used in
the USDA Forest Service Region 6 roadside danger tree program, the danger
of laminated root rot in a recreation site, concerns with decline in
specimen legacy trees, and hazard potential in heavily-used developed
sites in older true fir stands.
Please check the workshop website for details:
www.fs.fed.us/foresthealth/technology/htwc/index.htm Right now, the web
site contains the workshop agenda, lodging and other general information.
Registration information will be posted on the site by March 15, and at
that time you will be able to register either by VISA or check.
Registration will be $225 through April 30th, and will be $255 after that
date. Guest field trip tickets will be available at a nominal price.
Please note: Due to meeting room and field trip capacity limitations, the
workshop will be limited to the first 88 paid registrants.
Also- If you would like to bring a poster to present at the evening poster
session/social/decay fungus identification workshop, please contact
Kristen Chadwick at klchadwick(a)fs.fed.us, or by phone at (503) 668-1474.
I look forward to seeing you all in June!!!
N. CA Shared Service Area
(530) 226-2436, FAX (530) 226-2485
I would like to inform members of a Postdoctoral Forest Pathology
Position that is available.
Please see: http://www.australasianplantpathologysociety.org.au/
Click on APPS Jobnet icon.
If you are interested please apply or know of anyone who might be
interested please pass on.
Professor Giles Hardy
State Centre of Excellence on Climate Change, Woodland and Forest Health
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Western Australia, 6150
Work Phone: +61 8 9360 6272
Fax: +61 9 9360 6303