Tuesday, April 21, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Russell Boulevard losing many stately old walnut trees

By
From page A1 | August 18, 2013 |

A work crew cuts down a black walnut tree on Russell Boulevard on Friday. Many of the cities trees are being cut down because they have thousand cankers disease. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

Many of the landmark trees that line Russell Boulevard to the west of Davis are being cut, due to a fungus known as thousand cankers disease that is killing black walnut trees across many western states.

“It is sad to see this happen, but it’s really inevitable,” said Eldridge Moores, an emeritus professor in the UC Davis geology department who has lived in a house facing Russell Boulevard since 1975. Moores has long appreciated the mature walnut trees:  not only are they beautiful, they also provided shade for the bike path that leads to town. “And I’ve always looked on them as an insurance policy against errant drivers,” Moores added.

But Moores said that as some of the old walnut trees have become diseased and frail in the last few years, “they’ve started dropping limbs, sometimes 10 inches in diameter. We had one come down just a couple of weeks ago.”

Moores said that some of the remaining uncut trees along Russell may look like walnuts to casual observers, but they are actually ailanthus trees (sometimes known as “Tree of Heaven”) — a species from China planted in this region longs ago, now often regarded as an invasive pest.

Keith McAleer is executive director of Tree Davis, a nonprofit that has planted many trees on Russell (and elsewhere in town) since 1992. McAlleer said that county government informed Tree Davis of plans to cut the old walnut trees, “and we recommended that an arborist assess the health of the trees. The county did hire an arborist, and most of the walnut trees (now being cut) were (already) dead — though walnuts will send up shoots from their roots indefinitely.”

McAleer said that the walnut trees along Russell within city limits “are much better cared for … there are only a handful of dead ones. Tree Davis would like to save these walnuts if possible. They are iconic, many over 120 years old.” He said that mistletoe has been a problem for years, and Tree Davis is assessing whether it is feasible to treat the surviving walnut trees for thousand cankers disease. Tree Davis is also working with neighbors in the Russell Boulevard/Patwin Road area to plant new trees replacing those now being cut — ideally “a more diverse canopy” less susceptible to a particular pest or disease.

Roger and Ann Romani have lived on Russell Boulevard for more than 50 years, in a historic home built in 1887 for Hugh LaRue, an early resident in this area. LaRue owned much of the land fronting Russell between Highway 113 and Cactus Corner (Highway 98 and Russell Boulevard). Ann Romani, a devotee of local history, said that LaRue and his sons planted many of older walnuts — at that time, the state subsidized planting trees alongside country roads, and photographs of Russell Boulevard were featured in state highway publications. Russell Boulevard became part of the Lincoln Highway — the nation’s first transcontinental highway for automobiles, designated in 1913.

Roger Romani, a professor emeritus in the plant sciences department at UCD, said that the walnuts along the county portion of Russell “have not been taken care of very well,” but added “some of the trees (in city limits) are doing exceptionally well.”

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Aggie Pride on parade at UC Davis Picnic Day

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City wants a study of sewer rates

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Hard-of-hearing student needs community’s help

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    KDVS fund drive includes on-air pledging, plus parties and food

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Art helped sell California’s agriculture

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Sign up now for Celebrate Davis!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

    Students, families can get after-hours Internet access

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Lawyers seek resolution to Davis molest case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Garamendi hosts conference for women

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    ‘Invaluable public servant’ retires after 20 years

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Your brain’s aging and a new report urges ways to stay sharp

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Injury-proof yourself for effective exercise

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Understanding risks can help women prevent leading health threats

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Eyewitness speaks about Israel’s election

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Free gardening advice offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Grad Night tickets on sale online

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Schenker speaks about ‘Magical Mexico’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Yolo County DA honors crime victims at annual tribute

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Holman offers Publishing 101 seminar

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Radio-controlled airplanes will race April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Woodland bike rides set every Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Get some advice at Connections Café

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Join the 10,000-vegetable challenge!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post

    NAMI group offers family support

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Birding tour will benefit Putah Creek Council

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Watershed Wonders activities return to Putah Creek

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Yolo County Neighborhood Court seeks new volunteers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    UCD looks at building a better brain as we age

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Vault’ highlights ‘Kathak’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Two drought-preparedness water bills pass out of Senate committees

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Picnic Day favorites: dogs, bikes science

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A13 | Gallery

    Strike up the band, and the bubbles!

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A14 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Ready for the parting glass

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
     
    John Cole cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

    Yolo Crisis Nursery still needs help

    By Our View | From Page: B6

     
    Drink up, kids, but make your choice a healthy one

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    Leash your dogs; it’s the law

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Speak out

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B7

    Let’s not turn our backs on the Earth

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

     
    This Earth Day, make a pledge to cool your home

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

    .

    Sports

    Fast Aggie start negated by 14-0 USC lacrosse run

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Stagnant second-half offense sinks Devil girls

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Over the hump? DHS baseball team wins late

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lambdin, Marshall lead Aggies at Mt. SAC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Republic FC gets another win at Bonney

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B2

     
    UCD roundup: Aggies sweep a water polo double dip

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Busy Clancy, Hall spark Devil tracksters at Mt. SAC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Former DHS star Drexel returns to create havoc for Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: Oakland blanks Kansas City

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

     
    Sports briefs: Blue Devils split a pair of tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B14 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    New phase opens at Brookfield Cottages

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    Tucos closes; new Japanese, pizza, subs debut

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    WISH grant funds available to eligible homebuyers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

     
    Marrone Bio Innovations strengthens its sales team

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    .

    Obituaries

    Alice Catherine Micheltorena

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Jody Zewe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Herman Timm

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Ruth Rodenbeck Stumpf

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Robert Leigh Cordrey

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 19, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8