February 20, 2014 by Martin
Keep Manatee Beautiful seeks volunteers to “Mark A Drain for Only Rain” in Manatee County. Volunteers can call Keep Manatee Beautiful at 795-8272 to check out kits to place permanent placards by storm drains.
Many people believe storm drains connect to sewer treatment systems. In southwest Florida, whatever enters storm drains is discharged into a neighboring body of water, such as the Manatee River, Tampa Bay and Gulf of Mexico, without benefit of treatment. Pollutants that enter storm drains include used oil and antifreeze from vehicles, chemicals and grass clippings from yards, pet waste and litter. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, more than 60 percent of water pollution in the United States comes from urban and agricultural stormwater runoff.
The placement of these placards alerts people to the fate of runoff water and the pollution carried with it from lawns and streets. While this project doesn’t solve all water pollution problems, it is a practical, positive, easy first step toward public education, involvement and support for local watershed stormwater pollution prevention. The placards tell people not to dump into the storm drains and why.
To volunteer for “Mark a Drain for Only Rain”, please call Keep Manatee Beautiful at 795-8272 or e-mail email@example.com.
January 23, 2014 by Jim
Never cut main branches back to stubs. The sight of topped trees is all to common in the communities and along the roadways of America – trunks with stubby limbs standing naked in the landscape, trees stripped of all dignity and grace.
Trees are often topped because they grow into utility wires, interfere with views or solar collectors, or simply grow so large that they worry the landowner. But as one arborist has said, “Topping is the absolute worst thing you can do for the health of your tree.”
Why not to top: 8 good reasons
- Starvation: Topping removes so much of the tree’s leafy crown that it dangerously reduces the tree’s food-making ability.
- Shock: By removing the protective cover of the tree’s canopy, bark tissue is exposed to the direct rays of the sun. The resulted scalding can cause the tree’s death.
- Insect and Disease: The exposed ends of topped limbs are highly vulnerable to insect invasion or decay fungi spores.
- Weak Limbs: New branches that grow from stubbed limbs are weakly attached and more liable to break from snow or ice weight.
- Rapid New Growth: Instead of controlling the height and spread of the tree, topping has the opposite effect. New branches are more numerous and often grow higher than before.
- Tree Death: Some tree species can’t tolerate major branch loss and still survive. At best, they remain weak and disease-prone.
- Ugliness: A topped tree is a disfigured tree. Even with new growth, it never regains the grace and character of its species.
- Cost: The true cost of topping is often hidden – lower property values, expense of removal and replacement if the tree dies.
Proper pruning – the alternative to topping
When a decision is made to reduce the size of an older tree, it can be topped, or it can be pruned properly. Although the speed of and nature of regrowth will depend on species and local factors, any comparison between irresponsible topping and competent pruning will be dramatic.
- Year 1: The topped tree is an ugly stub and a remnant of a once lovely tree. If pruned properly, the tree’s size is reduced but form and beauty are retained.
- Year 3: Vigorous sprouts have sprung out of the topped tree in large numbers and are growing with abnormal rapidity. The pruned tree adds growth, but it does so more slowly and distributes it more normally.
- Year 6: In a relatively short time, the topped tree is as tall – and far bushier and more dangerous – than it was to begin with. The properly pruned tree is safer, more beautiful, and its size is better controlled.
Article from the Tree City USA Bulletin of the National Arbor Day Foundation. Download and post a copy of the Don’t_Top_Trees.
January 23, 2014 by KMB
Protect Florida’s vulnerable state tree – NO OVER-PRUNING – it is a harmful and unnecessary practice. Consider the facts of over-pruning:
- Sabal Palms (commonly known as cabbage palms) are self-pruning palms, shedding dead fronds in high winds. They have survived droughts, fires and floods, enriched the soil and adapted to coastal and inland environments for thousands of years. Their spring flowers and winter berries are vitally important to the survival of migratory birds and Florida’s indigenous wildlife species. (It is OK to remove fruiting structures at some point, because they do become safety hazards near traffic areas after awhile.)
- Cutting healthy green fronds steals the palms’ source of nutrients, permanently stunts growth, invites disease and reduces the palms’ natural resilience to high winds.
- Over-pruned palms develop bottleneck trunks. In high winds and hurricanes this stressed and weakened point will cause the palm to break off and die.
- Pruning of protective green fronds makes the palm’s heart cold-sensitive and susceptible to winter frosts and freezes.
- Over-pruning causes native and migratory songbirds, woodpeckers, butterflies, honey bees, tree frogs, bats, anoles, squirrels, and other wildlife to lose valuable food, shelter and nesting area.
- Work boots and climbing spikes create wounds in the trunk leaving the palm prone to disease.
- Though not necessary, it is acceptable to prune brown and yellow fronds hanging below an imaginary horizon line. Pole pruners work best. Prune stems away from the trunk. Green fronds should not be pruned.
You Can Make a Difference
- Do not cut green fronds.
- Say NO to landscapers who want to prune green fronds. Exclude annual over-pruning from your landscape contract.
- Keep lawn mowers, weed eaters and chain saws away from the trunk. These wounds are permanent and allow disease to enter the palm.
- Mulch around palms to conserve water and keep out weeds, eliminating the need for weed eaters.
- Enjoy your landscape, add fallen fronds to your compost or brush pile for wildlife. Fronds make rich soil for use in garden beds!
- Work together to save and protect our valuable sabal palm, an integral part of Florida’s ecosystems.
- Help spread the facts. Copy this information to help educate others!
This information was obtained from a brochure created by Amy Mosher and friends in an effort to save Florida’s natural landscape, and supported by Central Florida Palm Cycad Society and the Florida Native Plant Society. Download and distribute, for free, non-commercial purposes, the flyer: Save_Your_Sabal_Palm
January 10, 2014 by Martin
Florida Arbor Day observances are occurring on the official date of Friday, January 17. The observances described below will recognize the value of trees to the 165 communities from Florida and more than 3,400 communities nationwide that are currently a Tree City USA. The many benefits of being a Tree City include creating a framework for action, education, a positive public image, and citizen pride.
Locally, Tree City USAs include Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Palmetto, and Manatee County as a Tree County USA. To become a Tree City/County USA, governments meet the following four requirements set by the National Arbor Day Foundation: a community must have a tree care ordinance, a legal tree governing body, a comprehensive urban forestry program and an Arbor Day observance.
The City of Holmes Beach Parks and Beautification Committee will be planting a Dahoon Holly donated by Keep Manatee Beautiful at the park on the northeast corner of 5th Avenue at the intersection of 38th Street. Parking is available on 37th Street going east from Gulf Drive to 5th Avenue.
The City of Anna Maria and Manatee County Government will continue enhancing Bayfront Park on Bay Boulevard south of the public restrooms by planting two oak trees.
The City of Bradenton will enhance Palma Sola Scenic Highway located on S.R. 64 West/Manatee Avenue West on the northeast side in between Palma Sola Boulevard and the pavilion area. Three Geiger trees and a Royal Poinciana will add color on this scenic highway with orange flowers. The trees were donated by Modern Woodmen of America, Myra Russell and Janice Ritchie.
December 2, 2013 by Martin
Keep Manatee Beautiful’s 2014 calendar is booked with fun events to inspire a sense of community involvement by bringing together volunteers, businesses, and local governments to make Manatee County a cleaner, more beautiful community. Below are some of the major events on our calendar. For more information, click here to visit our online Calendar.
- “Florida Arbor Day” on Friday January 17th
- “Make Every Day Earth Day” on April 5 & 6
- “Great American Cleanup on Upper Manatee River” on April 5
- “Great American Cleanup Countywide” on April 12
- “Golf Tournament” at Tara Golf & Country Club on May 2
- “Keep America Beautiful National Planting Day” on September 13
- “Awards Celebration” at Polo Grill Ballroom on September 18
- “International Coastal Cleanup” on October 4
- “America Recycles Day at SandBlast” in November (date TBD)
November 3, 2013 by Martin
Keep Manatee Beautiful thanks our 2013 teams and sponsors for a wonderful event.
Team – SCF Earth Club
Sponsor – Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
Sculpture Name – Calvin & Hobbes “Snow Sharks”
Team – Southeast High School VPA
Sponsor – Florida Power & Light Company
Sculpture Name – Florida in the Fall
Team – Lincoln Middle School Student Council
Sponsor – John Neal Homes
Sculpture Name – Sea Creatures Survival
Team – Anna Maria Island Girl Scouts
Sponsor – Rusty & Ingrid McClellan
Sculpture Name – Shmingo Sealife
Free Form Category
Team – SCF Phi Theta Kappa
Sponsor – Waste Management
Sculpture Name – Maverick & Mr. Whiskers
Team – Happy Gospel Church
Sponsor – Waste Pro
Sculpture Name – Exodus