A Tree’s Life: Easy Citizen Science for Healthier Trees

by Dee Shore, NC State University

Red maple trees have important jobs to do – and so could you, if you happen to have one in your yard and just a few minutes to spare each year.

Through a new project called A Tree’s Life, NC State University researchers hope to recruit 250 people to help them learn more about how trees grow in cities compared to rural areas and suburbs. Continue reading

Have a red maple? Become a citizen scientist!

If you have a red maple (Acer rubrum) in your yard, and a few minutes of free time per year we would like your help in monitoring tree growth for A Tree’s Life, a citizen-science project.

Trees provide a suite of ecosystem services that improve human and environmental health. However, urban trees are subject to environmental stressors, including increased temperatures and drought, which reduce these services and make tree more susceptible to arthropod pests. The objectives of A Tree’s Life are to understand how climate and urbanization affect tree pests, growth, and health, and thus ecological services like carbon sequestration and air and water filtration. This project was recently funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Southern IPM Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. Continue reading

Join the National March Madness Citizen Science Project to find the BMSB

University and USDA Entomologists are teaming up to map the location and population density of a newly invasive insect, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys. You can help us track and the insect in urban environments by joining the project to put BMSB on the map.

  • Representative elementary and middle schools in each of the 48 States are receiving this invitation to participate in the

 ‘March Madness Citizen Science Project to Find Stinky’ .

  • Students and parents interested in participating in the project will begin
    by taking an image of your BMSB.  Then send your image to EDDMaps
    . Once confirmed, report your findings daily.
  • Follow the guidelines on the BMSB Project website to get started.

Let the March Madness Citizen Science Project Begin! Continue reading

Texans asked to help keep citrus canker in check

By Rod Santa Ana, Texas A&M AgriLife

After finding citrus canker in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, experts want the public to know the facts of the disease because they can play a big role in limiting its damage.

Dr. Olufemi Alabi, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service plant pathologist in Weslaco, said the first thing the public should know is fruit from a tree with citrus canker is safe to eat.

“Citrus canker creates lesions on the stems, leaves and eventually the fruit of citrus trees,” he said. “The fruit is still edible. The blemishes do not affect the internal quality of the fruit, but they do reduce its commercial, fresh fruit marketability.” Continue reading

Scientists seek public’s help to aid trees

When Sharon Bryant read an e-mail asking citizens to help find healthy infested hemlocks, she wanted to help. Bryant, a middle school science and math teacher in Lenoir County, had a number of hemlocks in her backyard, all of which were covered with the cottony hemlock woolly adelgid, but a few that were still green and thriving. With a call to researchers at North Carolina State University, Bryant became one of the first citizen scientists to participate in the new “Tiny Terrors” project, designed to collect cuttings from hemlock and Fraser fir trees in an attempt to breed adelgid-resistant trees.

Continue reading