The Forest Within The Forest: The Hidden World of Epiphytes

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The Forest Within The Forest: The Hidden World of Epiphytes

‘Epiphyte’(“epi” = on top of; “phyte”= plant in Greek),  is a fancy-sounding term for a plant that spends most or all of its life living on another plant, usually on a tree . You might think that an epiphyte is a parasitic plant, but it is not! These plants only use the tree as a support system and take no nutrients from the tree itself. They instead rely on rainwater to carry nutrients down tree bark or on collections of soil and detritus in the crotches of branches. Epiphytic plants are represented throughout the plant kingdom, including non-vascular plants (mosses, liverworts, hornworts) and vascular plants (plants that can conduct water).

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5 Things to Watch Out For to Prevent Tree Failures

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5 Things to Watch Out For to Prevent Tree Failures

Incidentally, the Silicon Valley has seen some pretty significant storms (flawless segue). We’ve been flooded with calls about downed trees, bent trees and broken support stakes. Our inboxes doth overflow with cries for help from concerned residents. With this in mind here’s what you need to know to manage tree risk. 

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African American Scientists, Environmentalists and Activists You Should Know (Part 2)

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African American Scientists, Environmentalists and Activists You Should Know (Part 2)

We need diverse viewpoints in science, public policy and the environmental movement not only because to do include these viewpoints is more egalitarian. Environmental issues often affect minorities disproportionately. The water crisis in Flint Michigan isn’t the first time this has happened to a community of color. It’s happened time and time again, locally in Alviso, San Jose, on Native American Reservations and on the East Coast from Chester Pennsylvania to the South Bronx. On an organizational level, Our City Forest targets areas in San Jose that have been disproportionately impacted by freeway construction and air pollution and low-income, tree-denuded neighborhoods. We recognize that we cannot do this alone. 

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Two Days in the Life of a Lawn Buster

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Two Days in the Life of a Lawn Buster

OCF’s process of busting a lawn, i.e., removing it, is more passive than you might think.  The verb “bust” suggests action that is violent, as if the Lawn Buster seizes the lawn and takes it away to be imprisoned, or busts it in the chops.  

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Don't Top That Tree! Here's 5 Steps for Safe, Structural Pruning

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Don't Top That Tree! Here's 5 Steps for Safe, Structural Pruning

Hello internet! We’re taking a breather from botany this week and focusing on the practical. Today is January 29, 2016 and I bet you know what that means. No, not National Corn Chip Day, this blog is proudly independent of the corn chip cartels that seek to dominate this great nation. No, right now we’re at the height of the tree pruning season! 

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