An Incredibly Simple Way to Kill A Tree

By Anupum Pant


Of course, killing a tree is something I’d never want to do. I see them as old and wise people who have grown and matured for years. Plus they give us so much in return. And yet sometimes, they say, there are good reasons to kill a tree. I’ll probably never understand.

Anyway, I thought it’s good to know, just for the sake of knowing that there is an incredibly simple technique that is often used to kill trees (for legit reasons) and is widely known among horticulturists. I learnt about it just today, and I felt it was worth sharing.

It’s called Girdling (also known as  ring barking or ring-barking). Or, a technique which involves removal / peeling of a ring of bark from a tree, and the phloem layer (Like shown in the picture above). Yes, that’s it, this kills a tree. And it’s slow death. A tree which gets girdled dies gradually in about a year or more.

This is why it works…

The central part of the tree trunk (wooden part) is involved in taking the nutrients and water up to the leaves. The leaves then get exposed in the sun and mix in carbon dioxide to make sugar and other reduced carbon compounds. Most of us know that. But this is what not many know…

The outer part of the trunk – the bark and the phloem layer – also has a solid function that sustains growth and function. It’s responsible to carry the sugar (and other stuff) made by the leaves, back to the root. That is basically food to sustain growth and function of the roots. If that doesn’t reach the roots, the roots don’t receive what is required for their growth and function. Girdling does exactly that – cuts off the down-flow of food. As a result, the root dies and with it dies the whole tree. All of this happens very slowly.

To be noted

Jumping the Girdle: Some times, trees are able to repair this damage. It’s called a jumped girdle. To prevent that from happening, often smear herbicide over the girdled area.

Better Fruits: This technique is also used by some farmers to force the tree to bear better fruits – as no sugar goes down into the roots – the fruits are usually bigger and better if they come from a girdled tree. Of course these better fruits come with a price.

Girdling is particularly a good way to end trees like Aspens because as we know from Pando, many other Aspens can sprout up from the roots and cause a bigger mess if just the top part of this tree is cut off.

Girdling is a better way to kill a tree because it gives the environment time to adjust, also it is cheaper and prevents damage to the other delicate plants around the tree.


Donating = Loving

A small donation worth a single cup of coffee from you can be the difference between this website existing or not. If you like this, please consider buying me a cup of coffee:

So, What Does The Fox Say?

By Anupum Pant

One of the most popular videos on YouTube last year was a song sung by two Norwegian brothers titled, The Fox. I’m not sure what was it exactly that made the video go viral, which is not to say that it wasn’t funny.

I think it was those absurd lyrics dropped at a time when you expect something serious, made it so popular. With an infectious catchy tune, the lyrics of this song seem very childish and at the same time, it is sung in a serious tone.
Popularity kept aside for a while, the number poses an important question which not many of us must have considered – What does the fox say? Makes us go looking for answers, doesn’t it?

As scientists would put it, the question this song poses, is indeed a challenging one. It isn’t easy to generally vocalize the sound made by a fox. Also, foxes make variation of sounds for different situations. Moreover, that, there are varieties of foxes out there, makes it even more difficult to answer the question.

The high pitched bark:
For instance, the red fox, which is the most common variety of fox, screams in a high-pitched bark. It sounds like a woman screaming in distress. In words, it sounds like a YAAGGAGHHGHHHHH. And is exactly the reason we aren’t taught this at school. Imagine, the teacher teaching with a YAAGGAGHHGHHHHH in a classroom.

The bird like sound:
When they fight, foxes can sound like birds. Unlike the screams discussed above, these sounds aren’t heard for long distances. Little fox pups also make these guttural sounds when they play. The sound is called Gekkering.

The high-pitched howl:
When greeting a more powerful foxes, weaker ones make a very high-pitched howl that can be heard for several kilometers.

Apart from these broad categories, they make several other subtle variations for different situations. The video below has a good collection of fox sounds:

On that note

What do you think the Cheetah says? Most of us have seen a cheetah (probably at the zoo), but not many must have heard it talk. It may come as a surprise to you that Cheetahs chirp like birds. Or you could call it more of a cat-fight sound.

Enhanced by Zemanta