We Can Not Tell A Lie – Dave Cannon Cut Down The Cherry Trees…And Here’s Why!

Dave Cannon is in the process of cutting down the cherry trees in front of his house in Aniak – European bird cherry trees (Prunus padus) because they are invasives that have caused problems in Anchorage and other places.

He definitely had mixed feelings over cutting them down.  He liked the fact that they were very pretty and smelled nice this time of year (i.e., late May and June).  Even more importantly to him they sheltered his house from the road dust that gets kicked up every time a 4-wheeler or other vehicle passed by on the road.

The thick trees sheltering his house from all too common village road dust.

The thick trees sheltering his house from all too common village road dust.

Being a biologist, however, he was more concerned with the potential ecological implications.  Over the course of the past year numerous people pointed out how they’ve been there for thirty years of more, yet didn’t seem to be spreading as far as anyone knew.  That may, or may not, be true since no one has been looking up the Aniak, Owhut or other draianges that birds could have transported the seeds to.

His knowledge of the implications of climate change influences that allow many species to survive Alaska’s warming trends convinced him to be better safe than sorry…he just didn’t want to take a chance.

And here’s why:

European bird cherry (EBC) have taken over several streams in the Anchorage area – namely Chester and Campbell Creeks.

Map showing the extend of European bird cherry infestations along Campbell and Chester creeks.

Map showing the extend of European bird cherry infestations along Campbell and Chester creeks (David Roon UAF).

How EBC gets established where it isn't intended (David Roon UAF).

How EBC gets established where it isn’t intended (David Roon UAF).

Overhanging EBC branches on Campbell Creek in Anchorage.

Overhanging EBC branches on Campbell Creek in Anchorage (David Roon UAF).

The beautiful and fragrant flowers emerging in late May and early June.

The beautiful and fragrant flowers emerging in late May and early June.

Note the serrated edges on the leaves - this is how you can tell the difference between EBC and choke cherry (choke cherry have smooth edges).

Note the serrated edges on the leaves – this is how you can tell the difference between EBC and choke cherry (choke cherry have smooth edges).

Doing the right thing!

Doing the right thing for the ecosystem!

 

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