California Drought Kills 27 Million More Trees 

Another 27 million trees died in California last year due to the lingering effects of drought, according to new aerial survey data from the U.S. Forest Service. That brings the total number of trees killed statewide to a staggering 129 million since 2010.

trees killed by drought

In a typical year, about one million trees die across California. But beginning in 2014, that number began ticking up as aerial surveyors with the U.S. Forest Service started to notice entire hillsides turning yellow, brown and orange. At the height of the drought, in 2016, they counted 62 million dead trees in a single year (here is a map of the mortality progression).

Adrian Das, a forest ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, previously told KPCC that he wasn’t surprised that after a single wet winter, trees were still dying.

“The trees have been weakened and under a lot of stress and we have these beetle populations that are doing well,” he said.

Drought often kills trees indirectly. By depriving them of water, trees become weakened and unable to ward off diseases, fungus or bark beetles, which are always present in the forest but explode in numbers when trees are unable to fight them off.

Last winter, more rain and snow fell on parts of the Sierra Nevada than in the previous four years combined. Some trees have recovered, and the death rate is slowing down.

The lower rate could also be a result that so many trees have already died, so there’s just not much left to be killed, said Stephanie Gomes with the U.S. Forest Service’s tree mortality task force.

Indeed, this year’s data shows species with lower death rates in the past are dying in different parts of the state. Previously, the hardest-hit species and regions of California were pines at lower elevations in the Southern Sierra Nevada, where the highest temperatures sucked water out of soil, depriving trees of what little moisture existed. Now, Gomes said death rates are increasingly in higher elevations among fir trees in northern reaches of the mountains.

Part of the problem, scientists say, is that forests throughout the West have too many trees. Historically, many forests used to experience fire more frequently than they do now, which resulted in saplings and small trees dying in the blazes and leaving many forests more open. In the past century, firefighters put out those fires, meaning more small trees were able to survive and forests became crowded.

Now, climate change is forcing more trees to compete for a dwindling amount of water. As temperatures rise due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions,more water gets sucked back into the sky and out of the soil and the ground.

Gomes said the U.S. Forest Service is trying to compensate by thinning out forests either through logging or with prescribed fires so trees don’t have as much competition for water. The agency will also be prioritizing removing dead trees that may pose a safety risk, such as those growing along highways, campgrounds, and power lines. But it is difficult for the agency to do this work when more than half its budget every year goes to fighting wildfires.

“As fire suppression costs continue to grow as a percentage of the Forest Service’s budget, funding is shrinking for non-fire programs that protect watersheds and restore forests, making them more resilient to wildfire and drought,” Randy Moore, Regional Forester of the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region, wrote in the news release.

Source: California Drought Kills 27 Million More Trees | KQED Science

Peter Drucker: His Legacy & Thought Leadership 

Peter Drucker

We celebrate the birthday of Peter Drucker this month.

Born November 19, 1909, in Vienna, Drucker is considered the father of modern management because his insights and pioneering ideas transformed the way we conduct business.

Drucker’s 38 books have been translated into more than 30 languages, showcasing thinking that’s as fresh and powerful today as it was when his first book was published in 1939.

Peter Drucker fled Nazi Germany, and his experiences in Europe kindled a lifelong fascination with the issue of authority. “I suddenly realized,” Drucker wrote, “that Keynes and all the brilliant economic students in the room were interested in the behavior of commodities, while I was interested in the behavior of people.”

Peter Drucker – A Man of Firsts

Drucker considered himself a “social ecologist,” and his interest in people led him to powerful conclusions that poked holes in conventional wisdom. Here’s a sampling – all firsts:

  • Introduced (in the 1940s) the concept of decentralization, which remains the organizational foundation of every large organization in the world.
  • Advocated (in the 1950s) that workers be treated as assets and not as liabilities to be eliminated.
  • Advanced (in the 1950s) the idea of the corporation as a community built on trust and respect for the worker where profit is not the primary goal but an essential condition for the company’s continued existence.
  • Pioneered (in the 1950s) the idea that there is “no business without a customer.”
  • Argued the need for “planned abandonment” to counter the tendency of businesses and governments to cling to “yesterday’s successes” that have outlined their usefulness.
  • Coined (in the 1970s) the term “knowledge worker,” predicting that knowledge would become more valuable than raw materials.

“The world knows he was the greatest management thinker of the last century,” said Jack Welch, former chairman of General Electric Co., upon Drucker’s death November 11, 2005.

Powerful Questions

It’s said that “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.”
Drucker was a master at posing the deceptively simple question that could unlock potential.

Early in Jack Welch’s new role as CEO of GE, he invited Drucker to the company’s headquarters. Drucker posed two questions to Welch that shaped the CEO’s long-term strategy: “If you weren’t already in a business, would you enter it today?” Drucker asked Welch. “And if the answer is ‘No,’ what are you going to do about it?”

These two simple questions prompted Welch to insist that every GE business had to be either No. 1 or No. 2 in its class. If they were not, the business was fixed, sold or closed. The strategy that transformed GE into one of the most successful American corporations of the past 25 years started with two questions posed by Drucker.

In his book The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization, Drucker wrote that “answering simple questions requires us to make stark and honest – and sometimes painful – self-assessments. Answers are important; you need answers because you need action. But the most important thing is to ask these questions.”

Here are Drucker’s five most important questions:

  • What is our mission?
  • Who is our customer?
  • What does the customer value?
  • What are our results?
  • What is our plan?

How do you answer these questions?

Thought Leadership

Peter Drucker’s legacy is profound, broad and relevant for today’s leaders wrestling with change and uncertainty.
Consider these gems from Drucker – each a revolutionary thought then and now:

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

“Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.”

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

“You can only manage what you can measure.”

“What’s measured improves.”

“What everybody knows is frequently wrong.”

“Do not simply cling to your past successes; be willing to change, adopt new ideas and continually review all the different segments of business.”

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone made a courageous decision.”

“A leader, any leader, must act for the benefit of others and not for oneself.”

If you own one of Drucker’s books, now would be a good time to re-read it.

If you don’t own one of Drucker’s books, now would be a good time to buy one and read it.

In times of uncertainty, it’s wise to apply the fundamentals. Peter Drucker’s fundamental approach to business continues to bring out the best in leaders.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Drucker.

Source: Peter Drucker: His Legacy & Thought Leadership | Greg Bustin

Winter is for the Birds

It’s nice to admire the crisp outdoors of autumn or a peaceful winter wonderland from the warm indoor comforts of home. But as we stare out the back windows from our heated houses, our animal-loving hearts easily go out to our feathered friends and other wildlife left out in the cold, searching for food.

Wish you could do more for our flying creatures – and admire nature-in-action at the same time? Provide winter food for the birds in your garden by doing … nothing. (You read that right – nothing!)

Whether they’re year-round residents, winter guests or those just passing through, birds will enjoy a nutritious feast right in your back yard, provided there’s good seed to be found. All you have to do is leave the seed heads on your plants, allowing them to dry and mature. Then nature will do the rest.

It’s as easy as it sounds. Small seed-eating birds, like goldfinches and chickadees, feed straight from the plant, choosing the ones that are easy for them to perch. Finches are fond of the seed from composites (daisylike flowers) of every kind – from large sunflowers to small asters and coreopsis. Other plant favorites include coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, salvias, phlox, goldenrod, thistles and ironweed.

Larger songbirds, like cardinals and sparrows, prefer to feed on the ground. They’ll scratch and peck around under flowers that have burst seedpods. (Some good plants include tropical sages, evening primroses, coreopsis, grasses and mallows.)

The other nice thing about leaving dried seed heads on your plants is they add appeal to a winter garden that otherwise may lack interest. Dark stems rising out of a “dead” garden, topped with spiky coneflower heads or the fluffy heads of Joe-Pye weed and New York ironweed, lend texture and height to a winter yard.

If leaving dead-looking stems poking out of the ground seems too unsightly for you, an alternative is to cut the stems as if you were cutting a bouquet of fresh flowers, leaving the stems long. Tie the brown bouquet together and hang it on a fence, nearby post or tree. (The birds will know where to find it.)

Of course, the added bonus of leaving seed heads in the garden is that whatever seed survives your all-you-can-eat bird buffet will provide even more flowers the following year. So spend your time bird-watching instead of dead-heading the spent flowers in your garden. Leave those seed heads on your plants, then enjoy the view of a crisp garden full of wildlife – because winter’s for the birds!

By Stephanie Avett,

10 Ways to Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season

Farmington, CT (November 16, 2017) – The holiday season schedule is packed with events, family, and of course, food. With so much going on, it can be easy to neglect our health and safety and to become distracted or stressed during this busy time. Before the holiday season rings in, heed these tips for a healthy and happy time for all.

Stay Safe

  • 1. Hand over the keys.

Never drive under the influence. The CDC reports that 28 people in the U.S. die every day in vehicle crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. Drinking and driving is dangerous to everyone on the road; not just the driver. If you do plan on drinking, have a designated driver, taxi, or ride share service get you home safely after a night of celebration.

  • 2. Buckle up.

The holiday hustle and bustle can put more people behind the wheel. With more drivers on the road, combined with less than favorable road conditions, make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up, no matter how short of the journey.

  • 3. Fire prevention.

During the winter season, people tend to cook more and try to keep warm, which can cause an increase in residential fires. Make sure to never leave fireplaces, candles, or space heaters unattended. Also remember to regularly water any plants, such as decorated trees, as these can dry up quickly and pose a dangerous fire threat.

  • 4. Food prep.

Read all packaging and make sure your food is prepared safely. Always wash your hands and any surfaces the food has touched, prepare the food at the appropriate temperatures, and quickly refrigerate any foods that are sitting out.

Stay Healthy

  • 5. Wash your hands.

Germs are everywhere, especially during flu season. To prevent spreading germs, wash your hands often. It is recommended to wash for at least 20 seconds to be sure they are adequately clean, scrubbing under fingernails and between your fingers.

  • 6. Bundle up.

As the weather changes to brisker temperatures and inclement weather, layer up and stay dry. Wear warm layers, scarves, and hats to keep warm.

  • 7. Schedule your checkups.

Make an appointment with your family physician or doctor to make sure you get all of the necessary exams and health screening you may need during the winter season. Try scheduling these appointments early, as the end of the year can be busy for most offices.

  • 8. Get your flu shot.

While you’re visiting your healthcare provider, ask for more information about the flu shot. Flu season is in full effect and you don’t want to miss work or valuable family time due to illness.

  • 9. Take care of yourself.

With the temptation to eat all of the passed sweets and comfort foods, don’t forget to mix in fruits and vegetables to keep a healthy balance. Limit your consumption of foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Don’t forget to be active! Keep exercise a priority during this busy season and be active for a least 2.5 hours a week. Try taking a walk with the family after a big meal.

  • 10. Manage your stress.

The holidays may be a joyous time, but can also add on stress. Monitor your stress levels and if they start to peak, take a break before you get too overwhelmed. Seek support from friends and loved ones if it gets too hard to manage alone.

Christina Rehbein, MBA – Marketing and Communications Specialist, Envolve PeopleCare

Sr. Maintenance Account Manager Position

Cleary Brothers team Bay Area

Now hiring – Sr. Maintenance Account Manager Bay Area

Tired of working for a group of owners or a large corporation?  Love Landscaping?  Love People?  Want Respect and Reward?  Join us! As a Maintenance Account Manager at Cleary Bros, you will thrive.

Give us a call. We would love to speak with you… you have nothing to lose. We are not replacing anyone, we are adding capacity for our ongoing growth.

The Sr. Account Manager is responsible for managing the interface between Cleary Bros. Maintenance customers, Cleary Bros. Administration and the Maintenance Supervisor within a designated area or job list.  This position should perform with effective leadership, communication, reliability, and salesmanship.

Click here for an online application
You Get:
The chance to work with the best landscape team in the Bay Area

Base Salary, Commission, Bonus opportunity that is the best in the Bay

401k with match! health care benefits

education opportunities

quarterly bonus and monthly commission as well as generous base salary

challenge, a place in a stable company, a vehicle, iPhone, laptop, solid office support team, Autonomy, and fun.  This position is expected to earn a salary and incentives in excess of $100,000

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