Sunday, March 1, 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

    Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

    By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Child abduction case in jury’s hands

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

     
    Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

     
    Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Still no parole in toddler case

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    City offers wetlands tour

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

     
    Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    MU Games closing in late March

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Assault awareness campaign kicks off

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Young patients bond with special stuffies

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Radio talk show moves to Mondays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Forum

    Milt Priggee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

     
    Rowing: PE as well as life skills

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Police complaint procedures drafted

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Clarifying energy update letter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Weekly claw pickup necessary

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    City may get charged up over energy choices

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    Speak out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

     
    Design innovation centers for the 21st century

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

    A new perspective on life

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

     
    Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

    Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Sports

     
    Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8